Latent period for symptomatic sensitization in bakeries

Occup Med (Lond). 2005 Mar;55(2):93-5. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqi028.


Aim: To describe the latent period for symptomatic sensitization in bread bakery workers.

Methods: Data on the latent period for symptomatic sensitization, resulting in either asthma or rhinitis, were obtained from an in-house health surveillance programme in a single large organization.

Results: Over a period of 10 years, 90 employees were identified with symptoms attributable to sensitization. The mean latent period was 7.3 years, with three employees describing the onset of symptoms in their first year of exposure.

Conclusions: The long latent period, typically more than 1 year, suggests that health surveillance on appointment and then at annual intervals thereafter should be adequate to identify affected individuals in a bakery environment.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Dust
  • Flour / adverse effects*
  • Food-Processing Industry*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects
  • Rhinitis / etiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Dust