Metal fume fever: A case review of calls made to the Victorian Poisons Information Centre

Anselm Wong, Shaun Greene, Jeff Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine the epidemiology of metal fume fever over an extended period in Victoria, Australia. Methods: A retrospective case review of all metal fume fever related calls to the Victorian Poisons Information Centre. Specific defined criteria were used to identify cases of metal fume fever and a set of data points extracted for each. Results: Eighty-four (99%) of the cases involved adults. Fifty-three percent of exposures occurred in the workplace. The most frequent day of symptom manifestation was Monday (24%). All of the calls concerned people involved in welding metal with subsequent inhalation of fumes. Discussion: Calls were most common at the beginning of the week, reflecting the previously described phenomena of increased symptoms occurring after a period on nonexposure (loss of tolerance). Workplace safety and education is key to prevention of metal fume fever. Medical profession education may help prevent occurrences of metal fume fever at home, at school and in the workplace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-143
Number of pages3
JournalAustralian Family Physician
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Inhalational exposure
  • Occupational diseases
  • Poison control centres

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