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Pulmonary Illnesses Linked to Boot Waterproofing Spray

Two products recalled from stores after respiratory illnesses in humans and pets

MONDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials are evaluating the safety of boot sealants after 172 people and 19 pets in five states developed respiratory symptoms after exposure to boot waterproofing agents in 2005 and early 2006, according to a report in the May 5 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Susan Smolinske, Pharm.D., of the Children's Hospital of Michigan Regional Poison Control Center in Detroit, and colleagues investigated 84 cases in Michigan, 25 in Indiana, 19 in Pennsylvania, 12 in Ohio and 10 in Kentucky.

Most cases involved cough and dyspnea, but 15 patients were hospitalized, eight had chemical pneumonitis, one fainted and two cats died, the researchers report. Of the human cases, 150 were linked to Jobsite Heavy Duty Bootmate and Rocky Boot Weather and Stain Protector, both made by Assured Packaging of Ontario, Canada. The distributor, Manakey Group LLC of Grand Rapids, Mich., recalled the products from stores, but not from homes. Both contain fluoropolymer and silicone, components that are not on their labels but have been linked to previous incidents, the report indicates.

"Consumers should be encouraged to use all products for waterproofing shoes and boots as directed, to apply them outdoors, and to leave the sprayed shoes and boots and any contaminated clothing outdoors until all fumes have dissipated," the authors write.

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