A cross-sectional evaluation was performed of workers in a steel foundry in which methylene diphenyldiisocyanate (MDI) was used as a component of a binder system used to make cores and molds. Preshift and postshift spirometry and clinical evaluations were performed on 26 currently exposed (group I), on six formerly exposed (group II), and on 14 nonexposed workers to MDI (group III). Serum samples were assayed for total antibody binding, specific IgG by ELISA, and specific IgE by the RAST method to MDI-human serum albumin (HSA). Symptoms compatible with occupational asthma were elicited from seven (27%) of 26 group I workers and from three of six group II workers. No symptoms were reported by group III workers. Intrashift change in FEV1 (a mean decrease of 0.049 L) in group I workers was significantly decreased compared to that in unexposed group III workers (a mean increase of 65 ml; p = 0.043). Specific IgG and total antibody responses to MDI-HSA were detected only in workers with current or former exposure to MDI. Only one worker was identified with IgE-mediated occupational asthma exhibiting a positive prick test and elevated RAST to MDI-HSA of 25.5% bound. In this occupational setting, polyclonal immune responses to MDI-HSA and clinical sensitization to MDI were demonstrated to occur.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy