Argan powder found in some cosmetics linked with occupational asthma

Argan powder, which is used by the cosmetic industry in the production of foundation products, could be linked with occupational asthma.

A small study, presented at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Annual Congress in Barcelona today (9 September 2013), has found the first evidence of a risk associated with the use of argan powder during the industrial production of cosmetics.

A sample of nine patients from a cosmetic factory in France were analysed in the study. All participants were exposed to the product in three different forms: crude granules, powder or liquid.

Each participant completed a questionnaire about their medical history. Lung function tests and allergy tests were also carried out, along with an inhalation challenge test, which examines the airways specific reaction to a substance (in this case argan).

Out of the nine workers, four displayed or rhinitis symptoms and had a blocked nose when handling argan powder. The results found that three of them had occupational asthma caused by argan powder, proved by specific challenge tests. Two of the four also had a positive allergy skin prick-test to argan powder.

Dr Emmanuelle Penven, lead author of the study, said: "Occupational asthma can be a debilitating condition if it prevents a person from working. This study is very preliminary but does suggest an association between argan powder and occupational asthma. Our initial findings warrant further research to understand any health risks associated with the compound."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Children with allergy, asthma may be at higher risk for ADHD

Aug 13, 2013

The number of children being diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder (ADHD), allergy and asthma is increasing in the United States. And according to a new study, there might be a link between the growth of these three conditions.

Menopausal women at greater risk for asthma hospitalization

Sep 03, 2013

Asthma is a disease that mostly affects young boys and adult women. And according to a new study, women in their 40s and 50s with asthma are hospitalized more than twice as often as men in the same age group. The 10-year ...

Plumber and spray painter high-risk occupations for asthma

Jan 15, 2013

Despite known risks and recommendations for protective equipment, many people are still affected with asthma after exposure to chemicals at work. This is the finding of an international study of 13,000 people carried out ...

Recommended for you

Can robots help stop the Ebola outbreak?

1 hour ago

The US military has enlisted a new germ-killing weapon in the fight against Ebola—a four-wheeled robot that can disinfect a room in minutes with pulses of ultraviolet light.

New bird flu case in Germany

1 hour ago

A worrying new strain of bird flu has been observed for the first time in a wild bird in northern Germany, the agriculture ministry said Saturday.

Mali announces new Ebola case

Nov 22, 2014

Mali announced Saturday a new case of Ebola in a man who is fighting for his life in an intensive care unit in the capital Bamako.

Plague outbreak kills 40 in Madagascar: WHO

Nov 22, 2014

An outbreak of plague has killed 40 people in Madagascar, the World Health Organization said, warning that the disease could spread rapidly in the country's densely populated capital Antananarivo.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.