Aims: To explore relations between exposure to fungal α-amylase and the risk of new work related respiratory symptoms or sensitisation.
Methods: A prospective cohort study among 300 bakers and millers was followed up for a maximum of seven years. Exposure to α-amylase was estimated by air measurements and questionnaires and classified into three categories. Symptoms were recorded with a self-administered questionnaire and skin sensitisation assessed using skin prick test (SPT).
Results: There were 36 new cases of chest symptoms, 86 of eyes/nose symptoms, and 24 of a positive SPT to α-amylase. There were exposure-response relations for chest and eyes/nose symptoms and for sensitisation, and a significantly increased prevalence ratio for chest symptoms in the highest exposure category.
Conclusion: A reduction in α-amylase exposure is likely to reduce the risk for respiratory morbidity in bakery workers.
- exposure-response relations
- cohort study
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