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July 11, 1977

Considerations on Etiologic Factors in Meat Wrappers' Asthma

JAMA. 1977;238(2):129. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280020033018

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To the Editor.—  A recent letter (237:1826, 1977) reports interesting clinical and respiratory-function findings in meat wrappers and a nonexposed control population.Irritative respiratory symptoms and the meat wrappers' asthma syndrome have generally been thought to be etiologically related to decomposition products of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), such as hydrochloric acid and/or minute amounts of phosgene, and not to PVC itself or to the monomer vinyl chloride.The distinction is important to avoid confusion, especially since different mechanisms seem to be involved.