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One of the key agents leading to respiratory disease in a variety of occupational and environmental settings is Endotoxin, or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) components of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. Endotoxin has been associated with organic dusts in settings such as agriculture and aerosolized metal machining fluids. While endotoxin in residential settings can exacerbate asthma, there is recent evidence that exposure to endotoxin (and other factors) in infancy may be protective — the hygiene hypothesis. Gene-environment interactions also appear to be important. While there have been advances in understanding exposure-response relationships, adoption of exposure guidelines for endotoxin remains controversial, partly due to limitations of current exposure assessment methods.
This 2-½ hour webinar, presented in August 2006 by Donald K. Milton, MD, DrPH and Stephen J. Reynolds, PhD, CIH provides valuable background information on endotoxins (what are endotoxins, their characteristics and health effects), sampling and analytical methods, exposure reduction/controls, and other related topics. After viewing the webinar, you will be able to:
- Define the terms endotoxin, Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), 3 hydroxy fatty acid (3-OHFA). (What is endotoxin?)
- Describe methods for endotoxin exposure measurement (advantages and disadvantages, limitations, difficulties with interpretation).
- Identify industries and environments with endotoxin exposure.
- Explain basic pathophysiology and health effects of endotoxin.
- Describe strategies for reducing endotoxin exposure and health effects.
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