Ann Occup Environ Med.  2018 ;30(1):37. 10.1186/s40557-018-0248-6.

Pneumoconiosis in a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) spray worker: a case report with an occupational hygiene study

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center, 1095 Dalgubeol-daero, Dalseo-gu, Daegu, 42601 South Korea. seonpal7156@gmail.com.
  • 2Nano Convergence Practical Application Center, Daegu, South Korea.
  • 3Korean Industrial Health Association, Daegu, South Korea.
  • 4Department of Preventive Medicine, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, South Korea.
  • 5Department of Internal Medicine, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, South Korea.
  • 6Department of Pathology, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, South Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Using analysis of air samples from the workplace, we report on one case of pneumoconiosis in an individual who has been working in a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) spraying process for 28 years.
CASE PRESENTATION
The patient was diagnosed with granulomatous lung disease caused by PTFE using computed tomography (CT), lung biopsy and electron microscopy. To assess the qualitative and quantitative exposure to PTFE in workplace, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) were performed on air samples from the workplace. The presence of PTFE particles was confirmed, and the airborne concentration of PTFE was estimated to be 0.75 mg/m3.
CONCLUSIONS
This case demonstrates that long-term exposure to PTFE spraying can cause granulomatous lung lesions such as pneumoconiosis; such lesions appear to be caused not by the degradation products of PTFE from high temperatures but by spraying the particles of PTFE. Along with air-sampling analysis, we suggest monitoring the concentration of airborne PTFE particles related to chronic lung disease.

Keyword

Occupational diseases; Pneumoconiosis; Polytetrafluoroethylene

MeSH Terms

Biopsy
Humans
Hygiene*
Lung
Lung Diseases
Microscopy, Electron
Occupational Diseases
Pneumoconiosis*
Polytetrafluoroethylene*
Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared
Spectrum Analysis
Polytetrafluoroethylene
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