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The lung in metal fume fever.
Sem Respir Med 1993 May; 14(3):212-225
The disease metal fume fever was discussed in this review. Epidemiological studies have estimated that 50,000 workers have the potential to be exposed to zinc-oxide (1314132), the causative agent in metal fume fever. The incidence of metal fume fever has been increasing since 1987 and extrapolation of data from several studies suggested that between 1,500 and 2,000 cases of the disease occur annually in the United States. Chills and myalgia were the most commonly reported symptoms in cohort and case studies. Experimental studies in humans demonstrated an increase in the white blood cell count following exposure to zinc-oxide along with an increase in body temperature. Decreases in pulmonary vital and diffusing capacities were seen as well. Most studies using experimental animals were unable to induce a febrile response following the inhalation of zinc-oxide; however, the pulmonary function and bronchoalveolar changes were similar to those seen in humans. Studies on levels of occupational exposure to zinc-oxide indicated that the recommended short term exposure limit was probably frequently exceeded and that metal fume fever may occur more frequently than indicated by environmental data. A hypothesis for the mechanism of metal fume fever involving the stimulation of pulmonary macrophages to release cytokines was discussed as were other febrile occupational illnesses resulting from exposures to magnesium (7439954), copper (7440508), cadmium (7440439), chromium (7440473), antimony (7440360), tin (7440315), iron (7439896), bacteria and fungal spores, and fluorinated polymers. The diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of metal fume fever were described.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Metal-fume-fever; Occupational-exposure; Zinc-compounds; Toxic-effects; Metal-compounds; Epidemiology
Cardiovascular Research Inst University of California PO Box 0924 San Francisco, CA 94143-0924
1314-13-2; 7439-95-4; 7440-50-8; 7440-43-9; 7440-47-3; 7440-36-0; 7440-31-5; 7439-89-6
Issue of Publication
Seminars in Respiratory Medicine
University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division