Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2006 - Volume 48 - Issue 9 > Nasal Air Sampling for Measuring Inhaled Wheat Allergen in B...
Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000232533.04238.3e
Original Articles

Nasal Air Sampling for Measuring Inhaled Wheat Allergen in Bakeries With and Without Facemask Use

Renström, Anne PhD; Mattsson, Marie-Louise MSc; Blidberg, Kristin MSc; Doekes, Gert PhD; Bogdanovic, Jelena MSc; Tovey, Euan PhD

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Abstract

Objective: Occupational asthma caused by flour is common in bakers. We applied novel intranasal air samplers (INAS) to assess wheat allergen exposure and evaluate respiratory protection in bakeries.

Methods: Two models of INAS (INAS-M1 and INAS-M2) were compared with simultaneous personal air sampling of inhalable dust, both with and without facemasks. Wheat allergen levels were measured using a sensitive sandwich enzyme immunoassay. Allergenic particles were immunostained for microscopic visualization.

Results: Personal air sampling correlated well with INAS-M1 (r = 0.89) and INAS-M2 (r = 0.75). INAS-M2 collected particles more effectively than INAS-M1. Facemasks reduced inhalation of wheat allergen by 96% and 93% measured using INAS-M1 and INAS-M2, respectively.

Conclusions: Nasal air sampling can complement personal air sampling to measure short-term exposure and evaluate respiratory protection. To prevent baker's asthma, facemasks may be an effective solution in addition to improving workplaces.

©2006The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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