Allergen: Formaldehyde-treated human serum albumin (HSA).
Certain protein allergens and chemicals capable of acting as haptens occur at high concentrations in workplace environments. They represent a significant sensitization risk also for less atopic individuals exposed due to their often high concentration in the air.
Formaldehyde is widely used industrially, e.g. in textile, paper, rubber, adhesive and cosmetic manufacture, and as foams for cavity wall insulation.
Patients undergoing chronic haemodialysis if formaldehyde has been used to sterilise dialysers and surgical devices.
Any workplace where formaldehyde is used in significant amounts. Formaldehyde should be considered in investigations of cases of Sick Building Syndrome.
Other inhaled aldehydes. Inhaled organic material influenced by other aldehydes.
Asthma-like symptoms have been reported after exposure to formaldehyde (1).
Severe IgE-mediated anaphylaxis triggered by formaldehyde sterilised haemodialysis equipment has been published (2).
Non-immunological, irritative mechanisms are likely to be of importance.
- Hendrick DJ, Lane DJ : Occupational formalin asthma. Br J Ind Med 1977, 34, 11-18.
- Maurice F, Rivory J-P, Larsson, PH, Johansson, SGO, Bousquet, J :Anaphylactic shock with formaldehyde in a patient undergoing chronic hemodialysis. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1986, 77, 569-597.