Asthma caused by diazomethane


Occupations
  • Organic chemist
Agents
Diazomethane
 
Incidence
Incidence: low since the product is now only handled in a closed environment in order to prevent occupational exposures.
 
Diazomethane is used as a methylating agent. It will cause symptoms when present as an airborne contaminant (level >0.1mg/m3).
 
No pre-disposing factors.
 
Conditions
Through loss of nitrogen, diazomethane forms a carbene which possesses a highly electrophilic double free radical.
 
Symptoms
Severe asthma (in all exposed subjects). Cases of airways cancer have also been reported
 
Diagnostic methods
The clinical symptoms appearing in the work place are the only means of diagnosis.

References

  1. Zentralbl. Arbeitmed. Arbeitschutz 1952, 2:132

As in all diagnostic testing, the diagnosis is made by the physican based on both test results and the patient history.