Dept. of Preventive Medicine (예방의학); Dept. of Internal Medicine (내과학); Dept. of Pathology (병리학)
Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Vol.30() : 37-37, 2018
Using analysis of air samples from the workplace, we report on one case of pneumoconiosis in an individual who has been working in a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) spraying process for 28 years.
The patient was diagnosed with granulomatous lung disease caused by PTFE using computed tomography (CT), lung biopsy and electron microscopy. To assess the qualitative and quantitative exposure to PTFE in workplace, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) were performed on air samples from the workplace. The presence of PTFE particles was confirmed, and the airborne concentration of PTFE was estimated to be 0.75 mg/m3.
This case demonstrates that long-term exposure to PTFE spraying can cause granulomatous lung lesions such as pneumoconiosis; such lesions appear to be caused not by the degradation products of PTFE from high temperatures but by spraying the particles of PTFE. Along with air-sampling analysis, we suggest monitoring the concentration of airborne PTFE particles related to chronic lung disease.