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Mollusk Shell Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

Ramon Orriols, PhD; Josep-Maria Manresa, MD; Joan-Lluis Aliaga, MD; Rosa Codina, MB; Maria-José Rodrigo, PhD; and Ferran Morell, PhD
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Requests for Reprints: Ramon Orriols, PhD, Servei de Pneumologia, Hospital General Vall d'Hebron, Passeig Vall d'Hebron, s/n, 08035 Barcelona, Spain.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Orriols, Aliaga, and Morell: Servei de Pneumologia, Hospital General Vall d'Hebron, Passeig Vall d'Hebron, s/n, 08035 Barcelona, Spain.

Drs. Codina and Rodrigo: Unitat Immunologia, Hospital General Vall d'Hebron, Passeig Vall d'Hebron, s/n, 08035 Barcelona, Spain.

Dr. Manresa: Servei de Medicina Interna, Hospital Nostra Senyora de la Cinta, Tortosa (Tarragona), Spain.

Ann Intern Med. 1990;113(1):80-81. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-113-1-80
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

The shells of certain mollusks, as well as oyster shells, sea-snail shells, and others, provide the raw material used to manufacture nacre products. Weiss and Baur (1) suggested in 1987 a previously undescribed form of hypersensitivity pneumonitis in a single person who was exposed to the dust of pearl-oyster shells during the manufacture of various ornaments. We describe the first two patients suffering from hypersensitivity pneumonitis caused by the inhalation of dust produced during the manufacture of nacre buttons from sea-snail shells.

Patients and Methods: Two nonsmoking women were employed to saw and cut sea-snail shells into disks that were


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