Asthma caused by derivatives of furan

  • Foundry worker
  • Metallurgist
Furfural, Furfuryl alcohol.
Incidence: 5 to 30% of exposed subjects.
The risk is directly proportional to the concentration of the agent(s) in ambient air. The risk is directly related to the substance (and not to bronchial hyperreactivity), no immunolological mechanism has been demonstrated to date.
Atopy does not play a role in the condition.
Risk of occupational exposure during the polymerisation of resins in the presence of sulphuric acid and butanol.
Asthma associated with rhinitis. Smoking and/or chronic obstructive bronchitic disease are aggravating factors. There is a delay in the appearance of symptoms following the initial exposure to the risk.
Diagnostic methods
Monitoring of respiratory parameters during and after work.
Bronchial provocation test (in hospital).


  1. J. Allergy Clin. Immmunol. 1980, 66:458
  2. Am. Rev. Resp. Dis. 1983, 128:226

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