The case is described of a 44 year old pharmacist who developed severe occupational asthma threatening his continued employment, confirmed by serial measurement of peak expiratory flow at home and work. The cause was found to be the cleaning agent used in his office when it was unoccupied. Bronchial challenge testing identified the specific agent to which he was sensitised as lauryl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, a constituent of the floor cleaner. Substitution of this floor cleaner by a simple detergent cleaner led to a substantial improvement in his asthma, confirmed by repeated serial peak flow measurements.
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