The Need of Integrated Tools for the Study of Occupational Exposure to Allergens
Maria Concetta D’Ovidio1*, Pasquale Capone1, Andrea Lancia1,2, Paola Melis1, Giovanna Tranfo1, Carlo Grandi1 and Isabella Annesi-Maesano3
1Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene, Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority (INAIL), Monte Porzio Catone (Rome), Italy
2Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
3IDESP, University of Montpellier and Inserm, Montpellier, France
*Corresponding Author: Maria Concetta D’Ovidio, Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene, Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority (INAIL), Monte Porzio Catone (Rome), Italy.
November 30, 2021; Published: January 17, 2022
The workplaces represent an important source of exposure to a variety of biological, chemical and physical agents. The aim of this paper is to investigate the topic of allergens in occupational settings, promoting the practice of human biomonitoring, which is now mostly used for environmental exposure to chemical agents in the management of occupational allergies.
We conducted a search on the websites of international institutions and/or associations focusing on allergens potentially relevant in workplaces. Allergy-related biomonitoring and biomarkers were included, and data on work-related allergic diseases available on the Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority (INAIL) data bank were collected in cumulative years 2014-2019.
Both biological- and chemical-derived allergens found in industry and services, as well as in agriculture, may induce respiratory and cutaneous effects, resulting in work-related diseases.
The number of cases confirmed in cumulative years 2014-2019, included 97 cases of allergic rhinitis unspecified, 409 cases of predominantly allergic asthma diseases, 916 cases of allergic contact dermatitis and 10 cases of allergic urticaria.
The number of cases of allergic rhinitis unspecified was the same in both industry and services and agriculture, while the majority of cases of predominantly allergic asthma were found in industry and services (276) with respect to agriculture (129).
The survey and/or notification of work-related allergy cases, jointly with data from environmental monitoring, human biomonitoring, specific biomarkers, individual sensitization and health surveillance practice play a key role in the building of a network aimed at improving preventive measures in the field of occupational allergies.
Keywords: Human Biomonitoring; Occupational Allergies; Workplaces; Environmental Exposure; Health Surveillance; Occupational Allergens; Exposome
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