Cold air challenge and platinum skin reactivity in platinum refinery workers. Bronchial reactivity precedes skin prick response

Chest. 1990 Jun;97(6):1401-7. doi: 10.1378/chest.97.6.1401.


An investigation of a platinum refinery operation consisted of an administered questionnaire, spirometry, skin prick testing with platinum salts and common aeroallergens, serum total IgE, radioallergosorbent test for platinum salts, and measurement of nonspecific airway hyperresponsiveness by cold air challenge testing. Among 136 employees examined, there were 107 current and 29 medically terminated workers; 23 (17 percent) subjects had a positive platinum salts prick skin test and 19 (14 percent) displayed a positive cold air challenge. RAST binding for platinum salts IgE antibodies showed a high level of agreement with platinum skin prick test results. A proportion (63 percent) of the population (74 current and 12 terminated workers) underwent repeat platinum skin testing one year later. Among current workers, there was conversion of the platinum skin test from negative to a positive test in five employees, with three conversions occurring in workers who showed only a positive cold air challenge test the year before. Platinum skin sensitivity, asthma symptoms, and nonspecific airway hyperresponsiveness persisted for years after termination of exposure in some medically terminated workers presumably because of a delay in removal from work of employees who became sensitized to platinum salts. It is suggested that proper surveillance for occupational asthma involves the use of several testing procedures. Prompt removal from work of individuals found to become sensitized to platinum salts is important in this industry.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Platinum / adverse effects*
  • Radioallergosorbent Test
  • Skin Tests
  • Spirometry
  • Time Factors


  • Platinum