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February/March 2014 (vol. 10/5)
A huge systematic review and evidence grading covering 865 papers, provides the first evidence-based list of substances as well as worksites causing allergic occupational asthma. The selected papers were rated for quality using the Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network (SIGN) grading system, with the evidence strength for each causative agent subsequently graded according to the modified Royal College of General Practitioners three-star classification. The strongest evidence (three stars) was found for co-exposure to various laboratory animals; with 18 agents or worksites given a moderate (two-star) rating, including reactive dyes, flour and latex. A further 78 agents were variously rated as having very weak to moderate supporting evidence, with 275 agents, worksites or professions having no scientific evidence.
Allergens causing occupational asthma: an evidence-based evaluation of the literature. International Archives of Occupational Environmental Health 2013; online first: doi: 10.1007/s00420-013-0866-9
Occupational Health at Work February/March 2014 (vol. 10/5) pp41