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The following case reports highlight examples of isocyanate-induced asthma.
acrylates). Skin testing does not adequately assess the response to LMW antigens. Thus, skin tests are almost useless for most LMW agents, but they are good diagnostic tools in workers sensitized to complex platinum salts, and in some instances, in patients exposed to other metallic salts (28) and to persulfates. Although protein-conjugates of some reactive chemicals, such as diisocyanates and acid anhydrides, can be readily obtained, optimal ligand:protein binding ratios have not been defined (11). Serologic tests have limited utility in the diagnosis of isocyanate-induced asthma.
Isocyanates are also found in paints, varnishes and other types of foam. They are a known cause of occupational asthma. According to Dr. Yuh-Chin T. Huang, a professor at Duke University Medical Center, isocyanate-induced asthma is similar to other types of asthma, but instead of being triggered by exercise, it is triggered by exposure. Once someone has become sensitized, re-exposure can cause intense asthma attacks.
Piirila PL, Nordman H, Keskinen HM, Luukkonen R, Salo SP, Tuomi TO, Tuppurainen M: Long-term follow-up of hexamethylene diisocyanate-, diphenylmethane diisocyanate-, and toluene diisocyanate-induced asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2000, 162(2 Pt 1):516-522.
White WG, Morris MJ, Sugden E, & Zapata E (1980) Isocyanate- induced asthma in a car factory. Lancet, 1: 756-760. WHO (IPCS) (1987) Environmental Health Criteria 75. Toluene Diisocyanates, Geneva.