Asthma caused by aliphatic amines and polycyclic compounds


Occupations
  • Adhesives industry
  • Cosmetics industry
  • Electronics
  • Furrier
  • Metallurgist
  • Organic chemistry industry
  • Petrochemical industry
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Photographic processing
  • Plastics industry
  • Rubber industry
  • Tanner
Agents
Amines, Aziridine, Diamines, Diethanolamine, Ethanol amines, Ethylamine, Ethylene diamine, Methylamine, Tetramines, Triamines.
 
Incidence
Incidence: one in three exposed subjects develop symptoms.
 
Underlying non-specific bronchial hyperreactivity is a predisposing factor. Amines can liberate histamines directly and via cholinergic routes. Aldehydes can cause sensitisation (IgE-dependent mechanism) and may also give rise to RADS (Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome or irritant induced asthma- Brooks syndrome).
 
Conditions
Preventative measures are particularly important since the number of subjects affected is directly related to work place conditions. These agents are used as cold hardening agents in the epoxide resin industry. At high concentrations, direct contact with ethanolamine induces irritative lesions. Heating of diethanolamine to between 40°C and 60°C results in a vapour which can induce sensitisation in subjects present in the work place and provoke asthmatic attacks.
 
Symptoms
Rhinitis and early asthma following exposure, quite frequently associated with eczema. Respiratory symptoms often persist after exposure has ceased.
 
Diagnostic methods
Bronchial provocation tests by inhalation (in hospital).
 
Skin prick tests with dimethylethanolamine at 1/1000, 1/100, 1/10 (m/v) or undiluted and with ethylenediamine.
 
No immunological assay.
 
Clinical history.

References

  1. INRS 2000 DMT 82 TR 25 page 153 Rosenberg N
  2. Clin. Exp. Allergy 1998,28:358 - Piipari R. et al.
  3. Clin. Exp. Allergy 1995,25:423
  4. Allergy 1994,49:877
  5. Br. J. Ind. Med.1992,49:294
  6. J. Allergy, 1983,34:374
  7. Clin. Allergy. 1980,10:263
  8. Am. Rev. Resp. Dis. 1977,115:867
  9. Clin. Allergy 1977,7:1
  10. Clin. Allergy. 1972,2:189

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