Asthme caused by colophony


Occupations
  • Adhesives industry
  • Beautician
  • Electronics,
  • Poulterer
  • Tyre industry
  • Welder

Agents
Abietic acid, Colophony, Pyrolysis aldehydes, Rosin, Telux.

Incidence
Incidence: between 4 and 20% of exposed subjects (depending on the literature). Subjects do not become atopic, but those who are already atopic are more severely affected. No immunological mechanism has been demonstrated to date, however direct toxicity has been shown in rats (Altman L.C. Studies on the pathogenenis of pine resin and wood induced lung disease Am. Rev. Resp. Dis. 1989). The threshold set by ACGIH for solder decomposition products is 0.1 mg/m3 expressed in terms of the formaldehyde concentration. 

Conditions
Fumes produced during the pyrolysis of solders or other materials containing colophony. Telux¨ which is used as a replacement product in subjects allergic to colophony may also induce asthma.
 
These pyrolysis aldehydes may also give rise to RADS (Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome or asthma caused by irritants – Brook's Syndrome).
 
Symptoms
Conjunctivitis, rhinitis and asthma symptoms develop after several years of exposure to the risk. Fever and myalgia symptoms may also occur. Dermatological problems due to colophony and resins can occur - eczema.
 
Diagnostic methods
A bronchial provocation test (in hospital) by inhalation is the only definitive test. It is also important to study the respiratory parameters in the work place. Measurement of dehydroabietic acid in the urine would also be a good diagnostic tool. The level of this acid (an oxidation product of abietic acid) is proportional to the exposure to the risk.

References

  1. Occup. Med. 2001,51:507 - Jones K. et al.
  2. INRS 2000 DMT 82 TR 25 page 153 Rosenberg N.
  3. Clin. Exp. Allergy 1992,22:99
  4. Fiche Allerg. Resp. Prof. INRS n°3
  5. Clin. Immunol. Allergy 1984,4:55
  6. Clin. Immunol. Allergy 1984,4:83
  7. Thorax 1982,37:348
  8. Thorax 1981,36:828
  9. Eur. J. Resp. Dis. 1983,64:241
  10. Eur. J. Resp. Dis. 1982,63(suppl.123):65
  11. Clin. Allergy 1980,10:137
  12. Clin. Allergy 1981,11:395
  13. Clin. Allergy 1976,6:577

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