METHODS: A 40-year-old worker was studied who had worked as a stamper for 14 years in a plant producing aluminium powder and had been exposed to high levels of aluminium dust during this time. The investigation included the collection of general data on health and details on occupational history, immunological tests, a physical examination, lung function analysis, biological monitoring of Al in plasma and urine, chest X-rays and HRCT.
CONCLUSIONS: HRCT was more sensitive than chest X-rays for detecting this early stage of Al-dust-induced lung disease. The suitability of HRCT in the surveillance of workers highly exposed to aluminium powder should be evaluated in further studies. Biological monitoring can be used to define workers at high risk.