A total of 57 subjects who had been exposed to mould dust in the tobacco industry were studied. Their working environment showed exposure to spores of different moulds, and 29 subjects (51%) showed antibodies against one or more of the microbes. Fifteen (26%) had work related respiratory symptoms. Eight (14%) showed slight radiographic pulmonary fibrosis. Spirometry showed a tendency toward restriction and obstruction, especially in small airways. Diffusion capacity was decreased in 18% of the workers. Three clinical cases of typical allergic alveolitis were also found. All this suggests that exposure of spores of different moulds (especially Aspergillus fumigatus) in the manufacture of tobacco products may induce symptoms and signs relating to extrinsic allergic alveolitis.
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