Evaluation of chemical-specific IgG antibodies in male workers from a urethane foam factory
Chemical-specific IgG antibodies
Occupational allergy (OA)
Urethane foam factory
Background: Plastic resins are complex chemicals that contain toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and/or trimellitic anhydride (TMA), which cause occupational allergies (OA), including respiratory allergies. Serum IgGs against TDI and TMA have been suggested as potential markers of the exposure status and as exploring cause of OA. Although TDI-specific IgG has been examined for suspected OA, TMA-specific IgG is not commonly evaluated in a urethane foam factory. This study therefore investigated both TDI- and TMA-specific IgGs in suspected OA patients and to evaluate the usefulness of the measurement of multiple chemical-specific IgG measurement for practical monitoring.
Methods: Blood samples were collected from two male workers who developed respiratory allergies supposedly caused by occupational exposure to TDI and/or TMA for the presence of TDI- and TMA-specific IgGs. In addition, blood samples from 75 male workers from a urethane foam factory, along with 87 male control subjects, were collected in 2014 and tested for the same IgGs in 2014. The presence and levels of TDI- and TMA-specific serum IgGs were measured using dot blot assays.
Results: We found that controls had mean concentrations of TDI- and TMA-specific IgGs of 0.98 and 2.10 μg/mL, respectively. In the two workers with respiratory allergies, the TDI-specific IgG concentrations were 15.6 and 9.51 μg/ mL, and TMA-specific IgG concentrations were 4.56 and 14.4 μg/mL, which are clearly higher than those in controls. Mean concentrations of TDI- and TMA-specific IgGs in the factory workers were 1.89 and 2.41 μg/mL, respectively, and are significantly higher than those of the controls (P < 0.001 and P < 0.026 for TDI- and TMA-specific IgGs, respectively).
Conclusion: The workers suspected of OA showed an evidently high level of TDI- and TMA-specific IgG, and these levels in workers at the urethane foam factory were also significantly higher than those in controls. In conclusion, the measurement of TDI- and TMA-specific IgG among workers using plastic resins is helpful to monitor their exposure status.
This study was funded by an Industrial Disease Clinical Research Grant (grant number 14040101-02 to M.T.) and the JSPS KAKENHI (grant numbers 22790546 and 25860472 to M.T.).
Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine
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