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March 1, 1976

Thermoactivated Price-Label Fume Intolerance: A Cause of Meat-Wrapper's Asthma

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Immunology and Allergy, University of Oregon Health Sciences Center, Portland.

JAMA. 1976;235(9):937. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260350041028

REACTIVE airway disease has been reported to occur with increased frequency among meat wrappers. Prolonged exposure to pyrolysates of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) soft-wrap films was initially implicated in the cause of this occupational disorder.1 Severe asthma developed in a meat cutter after repeated occupational exposure to fumes of thermoactivated price-label adhesives.

Report of a Case  A 43-year-old man with a history of heavy cigarette smoking (45 cartons annually) was employed as a meat cutter for 25 years. He was asymptomatic until 1968 when he noted recurrent episodes of chest tightness and productive cough. Initially, these attacks developed only at work and appeared to be closely related to exposure to fumes of PVC meat-wrap film generated when the PVC resin was cut by the hot wire of the meat-wrapping console. His symptoms intensified at the end of the work week, decreased on weekends, and were virtually absent during vacation. In