Workers in the coffee industry were investigated. Study I comprised 50 selected cases of whom 25 had work-related symptoms and 25 had not. Prick tests and RAST investigations with different factory dust extracts were performed. Study II was a cross-sectional study comprising 129 workers who were prick-tested with one factory dust extract and with castor bean (CB). More than 40% described occupationally related asthma, rhinitis, conjunctivitis or pruritus, and in about half of these cases sensitization with one or two allergens was found. One allergen comes from coffee beans and is found in the factory dust, mainly where the raw coffee is handled. This allergen is destroyed in the roasting process. The other allergen is identical with the allergen from castor bean and its presumed to enter the plant via the sacks. Predisposing factors to developing sensitization were atopic status, degree and length of exposure, and smoking habits.