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1/12. Mycobacterium sp. as a possible cause of hypersensitivity pneumonitis in machine workers.

    hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) in workers exposed to metal removal fluids (MRFs) is increasing. This study supports the hypothesis that aerosolized mycobacteria colonizing the MRFs likely cause the disease. Three case studies of HP outbreaks among metal workers showed potentially high exposures to a rare and newly proposed Mycobacterium species. Retrospective review of samples submitted to our laboratory showed an association between presence of mycobacteria and HP.
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keywords = metal
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2/12. Hard metal alveolitis accompanied by rheumatoid arthritis.

    Hard metal lung diseases (HML) are rare, and complex to diagnose. We describe the case of a patient with allergic alveolitis accompanied by rheumatoid arthritis. A sharpener of hard metal by trade, our patient was a 45-year-old, nonsmoking Caucasian female who experienced symptoms of cough and phlegm, and dyspnea on exertion. Preliminary lung findings were inspiratory rales in both basal areas, decreased diffusion capacity and a radiological picture resembling sarcoidosis. A high-resolution computed tomography scan indicated patchy alveolitis as well. An open lung biopsy revealed non-necrotizing granulomas consisting of epitheloid cells and surrounded by lymphocytes, plasma cells and a few eosinophils. These cells also occupied the thickened alveolar interstitium. macrophages in the alveolar spaces, some of them multinuclear, contained dust particles. Hard metal alveolitis is clinically well known and, in this patient, has been described histologically. After the patient had quit working with hard metal and following corticosteroid therapy, pulmonary symptoms and signs were relieved. During this recovery period, however, she contracted rheumatoid arthritis.
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keywords = metal
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3/12. Respiratory illness in workers exposed to metalworking fluid contaminated with nontuberculous mycobacteria--ohio, 2001.

    In January 2001, three machinists at an automobile brake manufacturing facility in ohio (plant A) were hospitalized with respiratory illness characterized by dyspnea, cough, fatigue, weight loss, hypoxia, and pulmonary infiltrates. hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) was diagnosed in all three workers. In March 2001, additional employees began seeking medical attention for respiratory and systemic symptoms. In May 2001, union and management representatives requested assistance from CDC's National Institute for Occupational safety and Health (NIOSH) in determining the cause of the illnesses and preventing further illness in employees. This report describes two case reports and the preliminary results of the ongoing investigation, which found that exposure to aerosolized nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) might be contributing to the observed respiratory illnesses in this manufacturing facility. Clinicians and public health professionals should be alert to the variable presentation of occupational respiratory disease that might occur in workers in the machining industry.
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keywords = metal
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4/12. fever and neutrophilic alveolitis caused by a vanadium based catalyst.

    AIMS: To investigate a worker who experienced systemic and respiratory symptoms when exposed to a vanadium containing powder used as a catalyst in the production of maleic anhydride. methods: The investigation included inhalation challenge with the suspected compound combined with monitoring of lung function tests and post-challenge bronchoalveolar lavage. RESULTS: Exposure to the vanadium containing catalyst for 120 minutes resulted in a sustained decline in forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in one second, while the transfer factor for carbon monoxide did not change significantly. The subject developed fever and peripheral blood neutrophilia. Bronchoalveolar lavage performed 48 hours after the end of challenge exposure showed a marked increase in neutrophils (60% of total cell count). CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to vanadium can cause a metal fume fever-like syndrome associated with neutrophilic alveolitis.
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keywords = metal
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5/12. Evaluation of hypersensitivity pneumonitis among workers exposed to metal removal fluids.

    hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) was identified among employees in an automobile parts manufacturing facility. Mycobacteria immunogenum (MI) was identified as a metal removal fluid (MRF) contaminant at this facility and had been identified as a contaminant in other facilities where HP had occurred. We therefore questioned whether measurement of MI-specific cell-mediated immunity would be associated with HP in this facility. We also questioned whether measures of cell-mediated immunity would be more informative about the presence of HP than evaluation of serum anti-MI antibody levels. Workers were categorized for exposure and disease status by questionnaire and review of medical records. Cell-mediated immunity to MI was assessed by measuring in vitro secretion of cytokines (interleukin 8, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and interferon-gamma) from peripheral blood mononuclear cells or anticoagulated whole blood induced by culture with MI antigen. serum antibodies against MI were also measured. Six study participants met our survey definition for HP and 48 did not. As has been reported for various agents causing HP, serum antibody levels against MI were increased in both exposed workers and workers with HP. serum antibodies did not distinguish between the two. When expressed as a percentage of secretion induced by lipopolysaccharide, MI induced a significant increase in interleukin-8 secretion in exposed participants' whole blood cultures. There were trends for increased MI-induced secretion of interferon-gamma by peripheral blood mononuclear cells from both exposed workers and workers with HP. However, these trends did not attain statistical significance. Thus, several measures of immunity to MI distinguished between exposed and unexposed workers but not between workers with and without HP. These evaluations of cell-mediated immunity were not more informative than measurement of serum antibodies. As was done at this facility, institution of a comprehensive safety and health plan for MRF is necessary to eliminate (or minimize) health effects related to occupational exposures in the machining environment.
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ranking = 2.5
keywords = metal
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6/12. hypersensitivity pneumonitis associated with environmental mycobacteria.

    A previously healthy man working as a machine operator in an automotive factory developed respiratory symptoms. Medical evaluation showed abnormal pulmonary function tests, a lung biopsy showed hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and his illness was traced to his work environment. His physician asked the employer to remove him from exposure to metalworking fluids. Symptoms reoccurred when he was later reexposed to metalworking fluids, and further permanent decrement in his lung function occurred. Investigation of his workplace showed that five of six large reservoirs of metalworking fluids (cutting oils) grew mycobacterium chelonae (or Mycobacterium immunogenum), an organism previously associated with outbreaks of hypersensitivity pneumonitis in automaking factories. His lung function remained stable after complete removal from exposure. The employer, metalworking fluid supplier, union, and the National Institute for Occupational safety and Health were notified of this sentinel health event. No further cases have been documented in this workplace.
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ranking = 2
keywords = metal
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7/12. The respiratory effects of cobalt.

    We studied seven subjects with certain manifestations of cobalt-induced lung disease. All worked with cobalt and were involved in either the production or use of hard metal. The mode of presentation varied from an acute hypersensitivity pneumonitis that cleared completely when exposure ceased to progressive severe interstitial fibrosis of the lungs. In one subject reexposure was followed by a recurrence of the symptoms. All subjects showed restrictive ventilatory impairment and a reduction of their diffusing capacity. The radiologic appearances varied greatly. While two subjects had clear roentgenograms with small lung volumes, others had a micronodular pattern or small blotchy nodular infiltrates, and one had diffuse reticulonodulation as is seen in cryptogenic fibrosing alveolitis. The pathologic appearances varied between desquamative interstitial pneumonia and overt mural fibrosis of the alveoli. Six of the seven patients had multinucleated giant cells in their biopsy specimens or bronchoalveolar lavage fluid.
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keywords = metal
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8/12. Hard metal lung disease: importance of cobalt in coolants.

    Four patients were found to react to occupational exposure to grinding of hard metal (tungsten carbide). Three of the patients had symptoms and signs compatible with an allergic alveolitis, the symptoms disappearing and the chest radiograph clearing when they were absent from work for a few months. Re-exposure to the offending agent led to new signs and symptoms. The first patient was re-exposed twice and each time reacted a little more seriously. After the last episode her chest radiograph has not cleared completely, in contrast to the first two times. The fourth patient had more typical occupational asthma. All the cases occurred in the part of the factory where air concentrations of cobalt were the lowest. The cobalt there is dissolved in the coolant necessary for grinding the hard metal. It occurs mainly in the ionised form, which is known to react with proteins and therefore presumably acts as a hapten. Protective measures, including choosing a coolant with minimal ability to dissolve cobalt and an effective exhaust system, should minimise the risk of this occupational disease in the future.
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ranking = 3
keywords = metal
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9/12. biopsy-confirmed hypersensitivity pneumonitis in automobile production workers exposed to metalworking fluids--michigan, 1994-1995.

    In 1994, union and management officials and local physicians in southeastern michigan noted the occurrence among automobile production workers of respiratory illness consistent with hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP). Local and national health authorities reviewed medical records, and in June 1994, individual employees and the union requested that CDC's National Institute for Occupational safety and Health (NIOSH) evaluate potential occupational exposures associated with these illnesses. This report summarizes preliminary findings of the evaluation, including detailed information about one HP case and a summary description of the six biopsy-confirmed cases among automobile production workers from three different plants (plants A, B, and C) in southeastern michigan; all six workers had jobs that entailed frequent exposure to metalworking fluids (MWFs). The findings suggest the need for further evaluation of a possible association of occupational exposure to MWFs with HP.
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ranking = 2.5
keywords = metal
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10/12. Allergic alveolitis following exposure to epoxy polyester powder paint containing low amounts (<1%) of acid anhydrides.

    Only one case report concerning allergic alveolitis caused by polyester powder paint has been published previously. The aim of this study was to determine whether phthalic anhydride (PA) or trimellitic anhydride (TMA) is the alveolitis-causing agent in such paint. A 61 year old woman showed recurrent symptoms of chills, cough, and fever whilst at work. She was working in a plant where epoxy polyester powder paints were used to paint metal. The paint was found to contain low (<1%) amounts of TMA and PA. The patient showed shadowing on chest radiographs. In bronchoalveolar lavage, lymphocytosis (67%) and a low T-helper/T-suppressor ratio (0.2) were found. transfer factor was within normal limits, but a slight reduction was verified after re-exposure to the paint. The symptoms, exposure, reduction in transfer factor, findings on chest radiographs and bronchoalveolar lavage were consistent with allergic alveolitis. In conclusion, the polyester powder paint used in the plant caused allergic alve olitis in this patient. Of the constituents in the paint, trimellitic anhydride and phthalic anhydride were the possible causative agents.
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keywords = metal
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