A five step investigation was carried out to gain a better understanding of the morbidity that accompanied the development of telangiectasia on aluminium workers and to find its cause. Fifty workers with multiple telangiectasia when matched with normal controls showed the same amount of illness except that evidence of ischaemia on the ECG was found in nine cases and one control. The cases did not show an excess of abnormal biochemical tests. The basic histopathological lesion affected the surrounding tissue rather than the vessels themselves. Working in the current environment and wearing masks seems to protect young workers from developing the lesions. The Soderberg and not the prebake process was associated with the lesions; the causative agent is probably a gas that contains both hydrocarbons and fluoride components emitted from the electrolytic reactors.
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