Background: An association between fungal exposure at work and asthma onset has been shown, but a causal relationship between them has not beTanle en established. Methods: The study describes an asthma cluster in workers in a building under renovation. Before renovation the work site had significant water damage, technical deficiencies, and ventilation problems. Worker protection was insufficient during renovation. In the building, toxicity was determined from dust as well as from cultured dust. Toxicity analysis was conducted in vitro using the boar spermatozoa motility assay. Results: During the 8-month renovation period, among 290 workers, 21 (7.2%) experienced new-onset asthma (9 women, 42.9%; 12 men, 57.1%; median age, 43 years (range, 30–60 years)). At the renovation site, they had been exposed to areas where remarkable toxicity was demonstrated in vitro. One year later, 13 (61.9%) of them still had moderate disease, and three (14.8%) had severe disease. Most patients had a poor response to inhaled corticosteroids. Conclusions: This study documents a clear temporal association between occupational exposure during renovation of a water-damaged building and a cluster of 21 new occupational asthma cases. In addition, dust and cultured dust from their work spaces showed remarkable toxicity based on inhibition of boar sperm motility in vitro.
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