Asthma caused by methyl methacrylate and cyanoacrylate

  • Adhesives industry
  • Automotive industry
  • Biologist
  • Building industry
  • Chemical industry
  • Manicurist
  • Painter
  • Prosthesis manufacture
  • Surgeon
Cyanoacrylate, Diacrylate, Methyl methacrylate.
Incidence: low in comparison to the widespread usage of these resins.
The mechanism resembles an irritative and toxic type of eczema except for the absence of lesions.
Smoking is an established aggravating factor.
No immunological mechanism has been demonstrated.
The acrylate family can be divided into resins and glues. Methyl methacrylate is the monomer for acrylic resin polymers. Inhalation of cyanoacrylate glues may provoke an asthmatic attack. Hardening agents such as polyfunctional aziridine (PFA) may also give rise to asthma. Ventilation (in particular by increasing the downdraft air volume) protects the subjects at risk (e.g. during application of artificial fingernails). Ventilation systems reduce the concentration of methyl methacrylate but not the concentration of acrylic resin dusts.
Asthma is associated with serious ENT symptoms: rhinitis, sinusitis, laryngitis and conjunctivitis. Urticaria (glues) and/or recurrent eczema may occur. Recurrent eczema may be observed. Headache, sensations of inebriation and digestive problems have been described.
Diagnostic methods
Bronchial provocation test (in hospital) and monitoring of respiratory parameters in the work place are decisive arguments.
Skin tests can be performed and specific IgE looked for, but these are rarely positive.
There is no cross reactivity between different acrylates which can be demonstrated by bronchial provocation tests. Levels of eosinophils in induced sputum are increased following occupational exposure or tests performed using cyanoacrylate.


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