Occupational immunologic lung disease

L. C. Grammer, R. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Occupational immunologic lung diseases either asthma or hypersensitivity pneumonitis, can occur in a wide variety of occupations from numerous antigens. New OILD syndromes and antigens are being reported constantly. In the case of some occupational agents that have been reported like isocyanates, formaldehyde, and Western red cedar, there is current investigation into the incidence of disease, mechanisms, and appropriate diagnostic criteria. A key principle in OILD is that prevention or at least early treatment by environmental control should be the goal. Determination of threshold limits for sensitization and adherence to these limits would be useful, for instance. In manufacturing processes in which this is not possible, workers and management in high risk industries should be educated so that affected workers are recognized early and avoidance can be instituted. Currently, there are no pre-employment screening criteria that have been shown to be very useful in predicting OILD. Prospective studies of animal handlers are underway and may provide useful information. In the case of TMA-exposed workers, prospective studies have demonstrated that serial immunologic studies are useful in predicting workers at risk for OILD and that reduction of airborne exposure will reduce prevalence. This sort of approach will probably be useful in studying other occupational agents. Such studies are complex and, to succeed, generally require cooperation and collaboration of physicians, industry, labor, industrial hygiene, and governmental agencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-159
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Allergy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy

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