Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis in workers at an indium processing facility.

Research paper by Kristin J KJ Cummings, Walter E WE Donat, David B DB Ettensohn, Victor L VL Roggli, Peter P Ingram, Kathleen K Kreiss

Indexed on: 19 Dec '09Published on: 19 Dec '09Published in: American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine


Two cases of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, including one death, occurred in workers at a facility producing indium-tin oxide (ITO), a compound used in recent years to make flat panel displays. Both workers were exposed to airborne ITO dust and had indium in lung tissue specimens. One worker was tested for autoantibodies to granulocytemacrophage-colonystimulating factor (GM-CSF) and found to have an elevated level. These cases suggest that inhalational exposure to ITO causes pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, which may occur via an autoimmune mechanism.