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Open Access Highly Accessed Case report

A Case of Occupational Asthma in a Plastic Injection Process Worker

Jong Suk Lee1, Hyun Seok Kwak2, Byung Soon Choi2 and So Young Park2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Eulji University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea

2 Occupational Lung Diseases Institute, Korea Workers’ Compensation & Welfare Service, Ansan, Korea

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Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2013, 25:25  doi:10.1186/2052-4374-25-25

Published: 22 October 2013

Abstract

Objectives

We report a case of death due to asthma attack in a plastic injection process worker with a history of asthma.

Methods

To assess task relevance, personal history including occupational history and medical records were reviewed. Samples of the substances utilized in the injection process were collected by visiting the patient’s workplace. The work environment with the actual process was reproduced in the laboratory, and the released substances were evaluated.

Results

The medical records confirmed that the patient’s conventional asthma was in remission. The analysis of the resins discharged from the injection process simulation revealed styrene, which causes occupational asthma, and benzenepropanoic acid, 3,5-bis(1,1-dimethylethyl)-4-hydroxy-, and octadecyl ester. Even though it was not the case in the present study, various harmful substances capable of inducing asthma such as formaldehyde, acrolein, and acetic acid are released during resin processing.

Conclusion

A worker was likely to occur occupational asthma as a result of the exposure to the harmful substances generated during the plastic injection process.

Keywords:
Occupational asthma; Plastic injection molding