A 67-yr-old woman presented to a free-standing medical center with respiratory distress of 1 day‘s duration. She was found on evaluation to have asthma associated with “dipping” the ends of polyurethane-coated wire into molten solder in the production, in her home, of components for the electronics industry. This process has been known to result in the evolution of isocyanates. The patient’s sister had also developed cough and wheeze after she performed similar home piecework. Neither the manufacturer nor the distributors of the wire had provided a warning of its potential respiratory hazards. This episode emphasizes the importance of the occupational history, and of following-back thoroughly on cases of occupational disease. In addition, this episode reminds us that home pieceworkers are unlikely to have benefit of advice from industrial hygienists or others skilled in recognizing potentially hazardous situations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry
- Environmental Science(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis