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Occupational Asthma Caused by FD&C Blue Dye No. 2

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We report the case of a 55-year-old male who experienced cough, dyspnea, wheezing, and nasal congestion immediately upon exposure to FD&C Blue Dye No. 2 (Indigotine) at work. The patient had worked for 10 years mixing and grinding powdered synthetic red, yellow, and blue dyes for use in foods; symptoms had occurred for 2 years and only with exposure to Indigotine (C16H8N2Na2O8S2), a free flowing blue powder. Prick testing to Indigoline (20 mg/mL) was negative. ELISA failed to detect specific IgE, IgA, IgM, or IgG to Indigotine-HSA conjugates. Bronchial challenge was done according to the method of Pepys et al. beginning with 4 × 10−4 lactose dilution of Indigotine powder. After 5 minutes of exposure to 4 gm Indigotine/100 gm lactose, the patient developed dyspnea and audible wheezing. At 20 minutes postexposure, there was a 20% decline in FEV1 from prechallenge baseline; no late phase response was observed. A second bronchial challenge with sodium sulfate, the major nondye product additive was negative. To our knowledge, this is the first documented case of occupational asthma due to FD&C Blue Dye No. 2. The pathogenesis is uncertain but does not appear to be IgE mediated.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1996-01-01

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  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

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    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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