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Allergology Review

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  Authority of Polish Society of Allergology

vol 6. no 3. September 2001  

 Original articles
The effect of chronic exposure to tobacco dust on nasal mucosa
Adam Ignacak, Tomasz Guzik, Tomasz Śliwa, Monika Ścibor, Ewa Sanokowska, Grażyna Czerniawska-Mysik, Teresa Adamek-Guzik

Chronic exposure to tobacco dust particles may lead to changes in the nasal mucous membrane. The aim of the present study was to assess the influence of chronic occupational exposure to tobacco dust on both allergic reactions and other changes of nasal mucosa. Forty tobacco factory workers (19 women and 21 men; mean age 36.5ą7.6) were included into the study. Control group consisted of 30 subjects non-exposed to tobacco dust, matched for age, gender and major environmental risk factors including smoking to the study group. In both groups, detailed environmental and disease history was obtained using standardized questionnaire; cytological studies of nasal swabs were performed and levels of total IgE and tobacco-specific IgE were measured.
Subjects chronically exposed to tobacco dust revealed significantly higher occurrence of clinical symptoms associated with upper airway pathology (40% vs. 13.3% in controls; p=0.018). These included nasal discharge and nasal congestion, itching and sneezing. These symptoms were further accompanied by significant changes in nasal mucosa cytology in the tobacco dust exposed group. Loss of cilia and squamous epithelial metaplasia were observed in 55% tobacco factory workers and in 13.3% of control group (p=0.0009). Hypereosionophilia in nasal swabs of tobacco industry workers was not observed. Anti-tobacco allergen IgE levels and total IgE levels did not differ between the studied groups.
The results of the study suggest higher occurrence of chronic or recurrent rhinitis - like symptoms among tobacco factory workers as compared to controls. They are associated with irritant or toxic influence of tobacco dust on nasal mucosa, and not with allergization.
Alergia Astma Immunologia, 2001, 6(3), 149-154

keywords: błona śluzowa nosa, pył tytoniowy, alergia, IgE, cytologia, nasal mucosa, tabacco dust, allergy, IgE, cytology

pages: from 149 to 154

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