Table of Contents
Journal of Allergy
Volume 2011, Article ID 841508, 5 pages
Case Report

Gum Arabic as a Cause of Occupational Allergy

1Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Turku University Hospital, P.O. Box 52, 20521 Turku, Finland
2Occupational Health Service Unit, Mehiläinen, 20520 Turku, Finland
3Department of Dermatology, Turku University Hospital, P.O. Box 52, 20521 Turku, Finland

Received 12 January 2011; Revised 14 March 2011; Accepted 16 March 2011

Academic Editor: Donald H. Beezhold

Copyright © 2011 Arja Viinanen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Gum arabic is a potential sensitizer in food industry. Methods. We examined 11 candy factory workers referred to examinations due to respiratory and skin symptoms paying attention to exposure and sensitization to gum arabic. Skin tests, pulmonary function tests, and respiratory provocation tests were carried out as indicated by the symptoms and findings. Results. Occupational asthma, caused by gum arabic was diagnosed in 4/11 candy factory workers and two of them had also occupational contact urticaria and one had occupational rhinitis. One of them had oral symptoms associated with ingestion of products containing gum arabic. Conclusions. Airborne exposure to gum arabic may cause sensitization leading to allergic rhinitis, asthma, and urticaria.