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Acute pulmonary toxicity following occupational exposure to a floor stain protector in the building industry in Switzerland

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Waterproofing agents are widely applied to leather and textile garments; they are also used as floor stain protectors by professionals. Acute respiratory injury is described in three cases of young healthy adults following occupational inhalation of a new waterproofing formulation containing an acrylate fluoropolymer. Within 1 or 2 h after exposure they developed a rapidly progressive dyspnoea; two of them had hypoxaemia and flu-like reactions. All patients improved with supportive treatment in a few days. The mechanism of toxicity is still under investigation, but experimental data suggest the role of this new acrylate fluoropolymer.


Tilers should be warned against spraying floor stain repellents; there is also a need to make consumers aware that the spraying of waterproofing agents in a closed environment and concomitant smoking should be avoided.

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We are grateful to Drs. Adrien Chavaz, Benoît de Muralt, and Jean-Marie Rossi for permission to review the patients’ medical records, Dr Romain Lazor for the revision of the manuscript, and Sylvain Jaque and the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health for their cooperation.

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Correspondence to Catherine Lazor-Blanchet.

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Lazor-Blanchet, C., Rusca, S., Vernez, D. et al. Acute pulmonary toxicity following occupational exposure to a floor stain protector in the building industry in Switzerland. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 77, 244–248 (2004).

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