Clinical findings for residents near a polyurethane foam manufacturing plant.
Clinical findings for 38 community residents who complained of symptoms they attributed to exposure to air emissions from nearby fiber processing and polyurethane foam manufacturing facilities are reported. Common complaints included headache, mucosal irritation, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and wheezing. Airway hyperreactivity, measured by methacholine challenge, was observed in 8 individuals (22% of those tested), who also reported temporal relationships between exposure to visible emissions or odors and symptoms consistent with environmentally induced asthma. Six individuals (18.2%) had antibodies to at least 1 of the 3 common industrial diisocyanates. The number of individuals with antibodies to diisocyanates, coupled with the absence of other diisocyanate exposure, was highly suggestive of environmental exposure. The findings raised concern that some residents may have become sensitized to toluene diisocyanate.
Darcey, D; Lipscomb, HJ; Epling, C; Pate, W; Cherry, LP; Bernstein, J
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