Laboratory allergy (LAA) is a hypersensitivity or allergic response, which may develop as a result of exposure to animal allergens. Approximately one third of people who work with laboratory allergens may experience some allergic symptoms due to contact with, or inhalation of allergens. Typical symptoms include:
Eyes : Itching, watering, redness, swollen eyelids.
Nose : Itching, stuffy or runny nose, sneezing bouts.
Skin : Itching, cracked skin, small blisters, urticaria, swelling and inflammation (weal and flare effect) if scratched
Chest : Coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath.
Eye, nasal and most skin symptoms tend to occur during work. Chest symptoms may not occur until some hours after exposure.
It is estimated that about 10% of workers exposed to LAA may develop symptoms of asthma. Once asthma due to a particular agent has developed, continued exposure to the causative agent leads to deteriorating asthma.
If you develop symptoms that may be associated with workplace exposure to allergens prior to your next screening, please do not wait to be called for routine screening. Make an appointment with the Occupational Health Adviser (ext 32802) so that we can make an assessment of your symptoms and, if necessary, investigate further.