Skip Navigation LinksHome > August 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 8 > Health Effects of Occupational Exposure in a Dairy Food Indu...
Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318253358f
Original Articles

Health Effects of Occupational Exposure in a Dairy Food Industry, With a Specific Assessment of Exposure to Airborne Lactic Acid Bacteria

Zeilfelder, Bernd MD; Chouanière, Dominique MD; Reboux, Gabriel PhD; Vacheyrou, Mallory; Milon, Antoine; Wild, Pascal PhD; Oppliger, Anne PhD

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Abstract

Objective: Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are used in food industries as probiotic agents. The aim of this study is to assess the potential health effects of airborne exposure to a mix of preblend (LAB and carbohydrate) and milk powder in workers.

Methods: A medical questionnaire, lung function tests, and immunologic tests were carried out on 50 workers. Occupational exposure to inhalable dust and airborne LAB was measured.

Results: Workers not using respiratory masks reported more symptoms of irritation than workers using protection. Workers from areas with higher levels of airborne LAB reported the most health symptoms and the immune responses of workers to LAB was higher than the immune responses of a control population.

Conclusions: Measures to reduce exposure to airborne LAB and milk powder in food industries are recommended.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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