Case Report: Autoimmune Disease Triggered by Exposure to Hair Straightening Treatment Containing Formaldehyde
James Dahlgren, Rhett Roback, Maria Dominguez, Vera Byers, David Silver, Edward Faeder
Formaldehyde (FHO) is a multipurpose chemical that is an eye, nose, throat and skin irritant, sensitizer and allergen, as well as a class 1 human carcinogen. Brazilian hair treatments, containing high levels of FHO (up to 11%), have become regularly used that have the potential to expose clients to toxic levels in excess of current regulatory standards. We report on a patient who underwent a single hair treatment and subsequently developed an autoimmune disease. We review the relevant literature on autoimmune disease and formaldehyde exposure. Our case adds to existing knowledge and suggests that physicians ask their patients about commercial products that contain formaldehyde when diagnosing autoimmune conditions.
Mesothelioma Associated With Use of Drywall Joint Compound: A Case Series and Review of Literature
Dahlgren, James; Peckham, Trevor
Background: Drywall joint compound contained asbestos fibers, primarily chrysotile, in the 1950s through the 1970s. Workers in a variety of construction trades and homeowners were exposed to respirable asbestos from the use of these products, including during handling, mixing, sanding, and sweeping. Disturbance of in-place asbesto-containing joint compound continues to be a potential source of exposure during demolition or repair of wallboard. Studies from the 1970s and 1980s report air fiber measurements above current and historic regulatory limits during intended usage, and typical asbestos-related disease in drywall construction workers.
Objectives: We present three cases of mesothelioma in which the only known exposure to asbestos was from joint compound and review the literature on exposure circumstances, dose and fiber types.
Conclusions: Physicians treating mesothelioma patients should obtain a history of exposure to these products during work or home remodeling.
Benzene-contaminated Toluene and Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Case Series and Review of Literature
Trevor Peckham, Melvyn Kopstein, Jason Klein, James Dahlgren
We report seven cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with occupational exposure to a toluene-based hydrocarbon solvent. The cases were employed at a facility, which manufactured rubber belts and hoses, between 1950 and 2005 for periods ranging from 21 to 37 total years. Detailed histories were obtained for three workers who were diagnosed with AML within a 3-year period (2003–2005). Death certificates, medical records, and accounts by workers were reviewed. Benzene, a known cause of AML, is typically a contaminant of toluene. Benzene contamination in toluene and other widely used solvents and the potential for concurrent benzene exposure during usage of these solvents in occupational settings are discussed.
Case report: peritoneal mesothelioma from asbestos in hairdryers
James Dahlgren, Patrick Talbott
Background: The relationship between mesothelioma and exposure to asbestos is well established. As a result, the use of asbestos in buildings, construction sites, and mines, as well as the implications of disease for the workers has received considerable attention. However, asbestos was also used in household equipment and consumer products, including hairdryers.
Purpose: To examine one case of peritoneal mesothelioma in a hairdresser and review the relevant literature on asbestos exposure from hairdryers.
Methods: The subject’s medical and occupational records were obtained and reviewed and a physical examination was performed.
Results: The results indicate that the subject developed peritoneal mesothelioma from her occupational exposure to asbestos containing hairdryers in accordance with the literature.
Conclusion: Hairdryers are possible sources of asbestos exposure in patients with mesothelioma, and the asbestos exposure risk is higher for those who use hairdryers occupationally.