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August 22, 1977

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis Following Prolonged Inhalation of Hair SprayThesaurosis

JAMA. 1977;238(8):888-889. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280090052024

PUBLIC concern about the potential hazards of industrial pulmonary pollutants has been steadily on the increase over the past decade. In 1958 Bergmann1 first described two cases of pneumonitis in patients that he felt were associated with the excessive inhalation of hair spray, a condition he termed "thesaurosis" (derivation: Greek "thesauros" to English "thesaurus," meaning repository, ie, "storage disease").

Report of a Case  A 33-year-old woman in previously good health was admitted to Bethesda Lutheran Medical Center in February 1976 for a routine vein ligation and stripping. Chest xray film at that time showed a diffuse nodularity throughout both lung fields (Fig 1). All x-ray films previous to July 1975 had been normal. She stated that for the prior 11-month period she had experienced a nonproductive cough with mild chest tightness, primarily while at work. During this time she had been an assembly worker in a local aerosol hair