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Occupational allergy due to seafood delivery: Case report

Author(s): Seitz Cornelia | Bröcker Eva | Trautmann Axel

Journal: Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
ISSN 1745-6673

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 11;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Abstract Background Sensitization to fish or crustaceans requires intensive skin contact and/or airway exposition and therefore especially workers in the seafood processing industry may develop an occupational seafood allergy. However, even in jobs with limited direct exposure, individuals with atopic disposition not using appropriate skin protection are at risk for developing occupational seafood allergy which requires termination of employment. Case presentation Due to increasing workload and pressure of time a truck driver in charge of seafood deliveries for 10 years neglected preventive measures such as wearing protective cloths and gloves which resulted in increasing direct skin contact to seafood or mucosal contact to splashing storage ice. Despite his sensitization to fish and crustaceans he tried to remain in his job but with ongoing incidental allergen exposure his symptoms progressed from initial contact urticaria to generalized urticaria, anaphylaxis and finally occupational asthma. Conclusion Faulty knowledge and increased work load may impede time-consuming usage of preventive measures for occupational health and safety. In predisposed atopic individuals even minor allergen exposure during seafood distribution may lead to occupational seafood allergy. With ongoing allergen exposure progression to potentially life-threatening allergy symptoms may occur.
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