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Korean J Occup Environ Med. 1997 Jun;9(2):283-291. Korean. Case Report.
Lim HS , Kim JY , Lee YH .
Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Dongguk University, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Dongguk University, Korea.

Occupational asthma is an important occupation-related disease. We experienced a case of asthma induced by chromium. After discovery, chromium has been widely used in industry. Health effects of chromium and its compounds are contact dermatitis (allergic and irritant), mucosal irritation, basal septal perforation, asthma, and lung cancer. Their toxicity depends on valency, solubility, concentration, pH, exposure duration and route. The patient was a 47-year-old male and an ex-smoker. He complained of cough, sputum and dyspnea while working. Total eosinophil count was elevated but serum IgE value was normal. Bronchoprovocation test with 0.5 % (w/v) chromium solution revealed early and late asthmatic responses. Although his initial methacholine bronchial challenge test shoved a negative result, bronchial hyperresponsiveness developed after bronchoprovocation test with chromium solution. After discharge, he has complained of an intermittent dyspnea. It was suggested that chromium could induce occupational asthma in exposed workers. Further investigations are needed to clarify their pathogenetic mechanisms.

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