The acid anhydrides are a group of reactive chemicals used widely in alkyd and epoxy resins. The major hazards to health are mucosal and skin irritation and sensitisation of the respiratory tract. Most occupational asthma caused by acid anhydrides appears to be immunologically mediated. Immunological mechanisms have been proposed to explain an influenza-like syndrome and pulmonary haemorrhage, but direct toxicity may also be important in the aetiology of these conditions.
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