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  Substance Info: (and synonyms)
Pine tree / Norwegian Pine tree / Monterey pine

Background Info:

Family: Pinaceae.
Representative genus: Pinus.
Do not confuse with the Australian Pine tree

The Pine tree is an evergreen conifer, reaching a height of 15-35 metres. The outer bark is narrowly ridged and the inner bark is resinous. The needles occur in clusters of three and are 10-15 cm long and persist on the tree for approximately 3 years. Cones are 7.5-14 cm long. The Pine tree can live for 90 years.

The Pine tree is a common name for a family of coniferous trees, of widespread distribution in the temperate areas of the Northern hemisphere.

Northeastern America is the native location for white Pine. Cultivation was attempted in Europe but was given up because of a fungus disease. Of the 100 different species included in the genus, almost all are found in the Northern Hemisphere, with 36 in North America. Pinus radiata, or Monterey Pine, has become the most important in the Southern Hemisphere. P. radiata should not to be confused with the Australian Pine tree (Casuarina family). Family members include the Douglas Fir tree, the Spruce tree and the White Pine tree. Pines are distinguished from other members of the family by the leaves, which are in bundles. Pines can be divided into two groups, hard Pines and soft Pines.

Pines grow in a wide range of habitats, from sea level to altitudes of 2,400 m in Europe. The climate where Pine trees grow best is humid with mild year-round temperatures. Winters are wet. The optimum soil is an acidic, deep, sandy loam with a clay layer.

Most Pinus species flower in early summer. The male and female flowers are separate but on the same tree. The males form cylindrical catkins and the females form cones. Pollination occurs from January to February in the Northern Hemisphere, but may be extended due to high temperatures. The pollen count is often high but the pollen grains are large, this being a possible reason for the low induction of sensitisation. Cones are produced annually. They may remain closed for several years, depending upon temperature and humidity. Cones open and release seed during warm, dry periods and close rapidly when temperature drops and relative humidity increases.

Although pine pollen is said not to be dispersed over a wide area by wind, a study reported that pine pollen had been found in airtraps 6km from the parent tree site. (Nieuwmeyer 2002 ref.6389 0)

 

Adverse Reactions:

IMMUNE REACTIONS


[ 1 / 12 ]

Pine tree pollen has traditionally been considered as a non-allergenic pollen (Cansen 1946 ref.24593 7) (Charpin 1963 ref.24594 5) (Esch 2003 ref.24595 5). Pine pollen has even been used as a negative control in nasal (Hosen 1990 ref.4438 2) (Friedman 1983 ref.24596 3) (Ackerman 1984 ref.24597 7) or bronchial (Frølund 1986 ref.24598 0) challenge tests. Thus, the cases of pine pollen allergy described are considered anecdotal (Walker 1921 ref.24599 7) (Rowe 1939 ref.24600 8) (Newmark 1967 ref.4450 5) (Kinnas 1971 ref.24601 5).The prevalence of cutaneous sensitization to pine pollen is also low. (In: Gastaminza 2009 ref.23713 2)

Reference:
Gastaminza G, Lombardero M, Bernaola G, Antepara I, Munoz D, Gamboa PM, Audicana MT, Marcos C, Ansotegui IJ. Allergenicity and cross-reactivity of pine pollen. Clin Exp Allergy 2009;39(9):1438-1446



[ 2 / 12 ]

Pine wood is one of the most used raw products in furniture manufacturing in Europe. High concentrations of colophony and turpentine can be extracted from pine resins. A 45-year-old woman developed a contact dermatitis of the face and hands due to a sensitization to colophony and turpentine after she had bought untreated pine chairs. The increased use of untreated pine in the furniture industry might result in an increase of colophony and turpentine-induced contact allergies.

Reference:
Booken D, Velten FW, Utikal J, Goerdt S, Bayerl C. Allergic contact dermatitis from colophony and turpentine in resins of untreated pine wood. [German] Hautarzt 2006 Nov;57(11):1013-1015



[ 3 / 12 ]

Hayfever and asthma.
Allergic contact dermatitis (see also: Colophony)

Allergy to pine trees is generally held to be rare and clinically insignificant. Skin test sensitivity to pine pollen antigen was found in 12 of approximately 826 (1.5%) atopic patients in a northern Arizona private allergy practice. (Freeman 1993) An earlier study found that 3.2% of pollen allergic subjects were pine pollen positive (Harris 1985 ref.4445 4)

Allergic alveolitis from Pine sawdust has been reported. (Malmstrom 1999 ref.4418 5)

A 73-year-old man presented with an 8-year history of a dermatitis affecting his face, dorsum of hands, and forearms was found to be positive to colophony and saw-dust samples from four different timbers: Silky Oak, Queensland Hoop Pine, Radiata Pine and Australian red cedar on Patch testing. (Cook 1997 ref.4423 7)

This Spanish study suggests that Pine tree pollen is a significant pollen aeroallergen and should be considered when investigating pollen allergic individuals. In this study, Pinus pollen was shown to constitute one of the most predominant pollens in this area of Spain, in this instance, Pinus pinaster and Pinus radiata. The majority of these patients were monosensitizated to Pinus pollen and suffered from seasonal rhinoconjunctivitis. (Marcos 2001 ref.4709 6) The sensitising Pine pollen will depend on which species of Pine tree is present in the vicinity.

Pinus pollen allergy has been generally considered to be rare and clinically insignificant. Although Pine pollen is released in large quantities, IgE-sensitisation to it has been found to occur in only 1.5% - 3% of atopic patients in a northern Arizona private allergy practice and in French studies. (Freeman 1993 ref.4432 4) (Bousquet 1984 ref.4396 8)

Reference:
Reorganization process. Data in process of being reorganized. Editorial staff 2006



[ 4 / 12 ]

This Spanish study suggests that Pine tree pollen is a significant aeroallergen and should be considered when investigating pollen-allergic individuals. In this study, Pinus pollen (in this instance, Pinus pinaster and Pinus radiata) was shown to constitute one of the most dominant pollens in an area of Spain. The majority of these patients (6/10 patients) were monosensitizated to Pinus pollen and suffered from seasonal rhinoconjunctivitis. (Marcos 2001 ref.4709 4) The authors found only 10 patients with Pinus pollen sensitization in the last 4 years, 6 male and 4 female, aged 17 to 47 years. All patients resided in Vigo and the surrounding area since birth. All except two patients suffered from seasonal symptomatology patient 3 had perennial rhinoconjunctivitis with spring season flare-ups in relation to multiple allergen sensitization and patient 9 had seasonal rhinoconjunctivitis and perennial asthma of intrinsic characteristics. All the patients suffered from rhinoconjunctivitis. Only three patients developed asthma. The skin prick tests with P. radiata and P. sylvestris were positive in all the tested patients, however we obtained positive specific serologic IgE only in six patients. Total IgE was in normal range in most of the patients. (Marcos 2001 ref.4709 4)
The sensitising Pine pollen would in other instances depend on which species of Pine tree is present in the vicinity. (editorial comment)

Reference:
Marcos C, Rodriguez FJ, Luna I, Jato V, González R. Pinus pollen aerobiology and clinical sensitization in northwest Spain. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2001;87(1):39-42



[ 5 / 12 ]

Allergic alveolitis from Pine sawdust has been reported. (Malmstrom 1999 ref.4418 5)

Reference:
Malmstrom K, Savolainen J, Terho EO. Allergic alveolitis from pine sawdust. Allergy 1999;54(5):532-533



[ 6 / 12 ]

A 73-year-old man presented with an 8-year history of a dermatitis affecting his face, dorsum of hands, and forearms was found to be positive to colophony and saw-dust samples from four different timbers: Silky Oak, Queensland Hoop Pine, Radiata Pine and Australian red cedar on Patch testing. (Cook 1997 ref.4423 7)

Reference:
Cook DK, Freeman S. Allergic contact dermatitis to multiple sawdust allergens. Australas J Dermatol 1997;38(2):77-79



[ 7 / 12 ]

This study reported on 8 patients allergic to pine pollen in Bilbao and analysed the possible cross-reactivity with grass pollen. No cross reactivity was demonstrated between P. radiata (pine pollen) and rye grass pollen. (Antepara 1995 ref.24602 7)

Reference:
Antepara I, Jauregui I, Urrutia I, et al. In vitro studies on an eventual cross-reactivity between pollens of Lolium perenne and Pinus radiata. Allergy 1995;50(Suppl. 26):274-5.



[ 8 / 12 ]

Asthma, allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis. (Potter 1991 ref.4437 9)

Reference:
Potter PC, Berman D, Toerien A, Malherbe D, Weinberg EG. Clinical significance of aero-allergen identification in the western Cape. S Afr Med J 1991;79(2):80-84



[ 9 / 12 ]

Three cases of pine pollen (Stone Pine tree - Pinus pinea) allergy (one also allergic to pine nut) in patients who lived near pine woods but who presented symptoms outside the pine pollen season. 103 possibly atopic patients residing in regions with pine trees were tested to Pinus pinea pollen and pinon nut. Only three of these patients (2.9%) exhibited skin test sensitivity and provocation test positive to Pinus pinea pollen. Another patient presented skin test sensitivity, but the provocation tests were negative.
Pine nut allergy was described in one patient with pine pollinosis
but the allergens were not studied in this case. Oral challenge tests with pine nut were positive in two children. The other two pine pollen-sensitive individuals, one of whom was-skin test positive to pinon nut, were able to consume pinon nuts without symptoms.
Patient 1: skin testing was positive with the pollen extract and with raw pine nut extract. Three hours after oral provocation with ingestion of five capsules (three contained pine nut (60 mg of raw, grated pine nut per capsule) – resulted in the appearance of wheals on the upper thighs and abdomen. One day later, ingestion of three whole pine nuts provoked itchiness of the lips and tongue and angioedema of the lower lip. Conjunctival provocation test with pine pollen was positive after 12 minutes. RAST was positive for pine pollen (class 3)
Patient 2: A 52-year-old male with rhino-conjunctivitis for approximately 30 years. He frequently consumes pine nuts without any appreciable symptoms. Skin testing was positive to pine pollen and negative for the pine nut and pine wood extracts. Conjunctival provocation was positive after 6 hrs. RAST was class 2 for pine pollen.
Patient 3: A 19-year-old male with nasal and ocular symptoms. Skin tests were markedly positive for pine pollen extract and pine nut but negative for pine wood. The conjunctival provocation test was positive five minutes after application. Oral provocation with raw pine nut was negative (ten pine nuts). RAST was positive for pine pollen (class 2).
Symptoms of rhinoconjunctivitis in these three patients appeared in the summer or autumn, while pine tree pollination peaks in April and May. (Armentia 1990 ref.583 33)

(In this study, pine nut allergy was described in a patient with pine pollinosis - this appears to be the only case described with this co-sensitisation - Editor).

Reference:
Armentia A, Quintero A, Fernandez Garcia A, et al. Allergy to pine pollen and pinon nuts: a review of three cases. Ann Allergy 1990;64:49-53



[ 10 / 12 ]

Asthma due to pine pollen in a 42-year-old female with a long history of hayfever, who began experiencing increased symptoms during the pine pollen season, in spite of improvement on immunotherapy for other pollens over a previous 3 year period. She was highly skin test positive to pine pollen, and bronchial challenge was positive. (Newmark 1967 ref.4450 7)

Reference:
Newmark FM, Itkin IH. Asthma due to pine pollen. Ann Allergy 1967;25(5):251-252



[ 11 / 12 ]

A 1939 study reported a case of a 37-year-old male living in a pine-wooeded area of the Sierra-Nevada mountains in California, who had asthma with yearly exacerbations beginning during the pine pollen season. He was highly positive to skin tests with P. radiata and other trees and pollen. Immunotherapy improved his condition. (Rowe 1939 ref.24600 8)

Reference:
Rowe A. Pine pollen allergy. J Allergy 1939;10:377-8.



[ 12 / 12 ]

A 1921 report of a case of hayfever due to pine, based on skin tests.

Reference:
Walker IC. Frequent causes and the treatment of seasonal hay-fever. Arch Intern Med 1921;28:71-118.




Occupational reactions


[ 1 ]

The objective was to determine the prevalence and quantitative level of specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) to beech and pine wood in exposed workers. Danish workers (n=701) were investigated for sIgE to beech and pine. The prevalence of wood sensitization among all workers was 3.7%. There was no association between sensitization prevalence or sIgE concentrations and self-reported allergic symptoms. Beech- and pine-sensitized workers showed a high prevalence of CCD sensitization (73%). However, workers with a single sensitization to wood had no sIgE to CCDs. Specifying IgE epitopes demonstrated that sera of workers reporting allergic symptoms recognized proteinogenic IgE-epitopes on wood allergens, whereas workers without allergic symptoms had primarily sIgE-epitopes to glycogenic structures. Although 96% of the wood-sensitized workers were atopic, no significant correlation was found between wood sensitization and sIgE to beech and birch pollen, but an association was found between sIgE against CCDs and pine pollen. The authors recommend the application of CCD tools to assess the relevance of individual wood sensitization.

Reference:
Kespohl S, Schlunssen V, Jacobsen G, Schaumburg I, Maryska S, Meurer U, Bruning T, Sigsgaard T, Raulf-Heimsoth M. Impact of cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants on wood dust sensitization. Clin Exp Allergy 2010 Jul;40(7):1099-1106



[ 2 ]

In a study of pine sawmill workers, results showed that exposure to green pine sawdust may be a risk factor for atopy. Both green and dry dust were associated with obstructive as well as restrictive pulmonary effects. (Douwes 2006 ref.16431 4)

Reference:
Douwes J, McLean D, Slater T, Travier N, Cheng S, Pearce N. Pine dust, atopy and lung function: A cross-sectional study in sawmill workers. Eur Respir J 2006 Oct;28(4):791-798



[ 3 ]

OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE:
Forestry worker, wood worker

Contrary to the rarity of sensitisation from Pine pollen, workers processing Pine in sawmills showed a very high frequency of IgE sensitisation to the extract of Pine wood dust. This frequency was significantly greater than that of the sensitisation of Oak workers to Oak. (Dutkiewicz 2001 ref.4407 7)

Airborne allergic contact dermatitis from Pine dust has been documented. (Watsky 1997 ref.2672 8)

Occupational asthma, lung function deficits, and elevated levels of respiratory symptoms in workers exposed to wood dust may occur but may not necessarily be IgE mediated, as other naturally occurring substances in Pine trees may be significant. (Ahman 1995 ref.4428 7) 11 Reactions to these substances may be IgE-mediated or irritant in nature.

In this study, work-related respiratory complaints among Swedish woodwork teachers was shown to be partially due to specific IgE to a tree, but also due to other mechanisms. (Ahman 1995 ref.4428 7)

A cross-sectional study of 54 furniture factories was conducted. Respiratory symptoms were documented by questionnaire among 2,033 woodworkers. Based on symptoms, 365 woodworkers participated in the study. Pine wood dust sensitization was greater in the non-exposed controls than in the workers. (Schlunssen 2004 ref.12802 7)

Reference:
Reorganization process. Data in process of being reorganized. Editorial staff 2006



[ 4 ]

A 20-year-old man who had had flexural atopic eczema until 11 years of age, developed facial eczema and swelling 2 months after working at a sawmill as a forklift operator with fresh-sawn Finnish pine (Pinus sylvestris), spruce (Picea abies) and European white birch (Betula pendula) timber. Patch testing was positive to Myroxylon pereirae resin, colophonium, abietic acid, fragrance mix, pine saw- dust and spruce sawdust. He gave up working at the sawmill and the symptoms stopped. Later, when he carried out some repairs to a building, he again developed some symptoms. (Majamaa 2004 ref.15980 8)

Reference:
Majamaa H, Viljanen P. Occupational facial allergic contact dermatitis caused by Finnish pine and spruce wood dusts. Contact Dermatitis 2004 Sep;51(3):155-156.



[ 5 ]

A cross-sectional study of 54 furniture factories was conducted. Respiratory symptoms were documented by questionnaire among 2,033 woodworkers. Based on symptoms, 365 woodworkers participated in the study. Pine wood dust sensitization was greater in the non-exposed controls than in the workers. (Schlunssen 2004 ref.12802 7)

Reference:
Schlunssen V, Skovsted TA, Schaumburg I, Skov PS, Sigsgaard T. Wood dust sensitization among Danish woodworkers. Am J Ind Med 2004 Oct;46(4):4-409



[ 6 ]

Contrary to the rarity of sensitisation from Pine pollen, workers processing Pine in sawmills showed a very high frequency of IgE sensitisation to the extract of Pine wood dust. This frequency was significantly greater than that of the sensitisation of Oak workers to Oak. (Dutkiewicz 2001 ref.4407 7)

Reference:
Dutkiewicz J, Skorska C, Dutkiewicz E, Matuszyk A, et al. Response of sawmill workers to work-related airborne allergens. Ann Agric Environ Med 2001;8(1):81-90



[ 7 ]

Airborne allergic contact dermatitis from Pine dust has been documented. (Watsky 1997 ref.2672 8)

Reference:
Watsky KL. Airborne allergic contact dermatitis from pine dust. Am J Contact Dermat 1997;8(2):118-20



[ 8 ]

Allergic rhinitis and asthma. In wood workers, rhinitis was caused by oak, beech, and pine, while asthma was caused by obeche, chestnut, acacia, and iroko. (De Zotti 1996 ref.3136 2) The Chestnut tree has also been shown to result in occupational asthma in wood workers. (de Zotti 1996 ref.3136 5)

Reference:
de Zotti R, Gubian F Asthma and rhinitis in wooding workers. Allergy Asthma Proc 1996;17(4):199-203



[ 9 ]

Occupational asthma, lung function deficits, and elevated levels of respiratory symptoms in workers exposed to wood dust may occur but may not necessarily be IgE mediated, as other naturally occurring substances in Pine trees may be significant. (Ahman 1995 ref.4428 7) 11 Reactions to these substances may be IgE-mediated or irritant in nature.

Reference:
Ahman M, van Hage-Hamsten M, Johansson SG. IgE-mediated allergy to wood dusts probably does not explain the high prevalence of respiratory symptoms among Swedish woodwork teachers. Allergy 1995;50(7):559-562



[ 10 ]

In this study, work-related respiratory complaints among 127 Swedish woodwork teachers and 111 reference subjects was shown to be partially due to specific IgE to a tree, but also due to other mechanisms.RAST was positive only in three cases, two reference subjects (birch and pine) and one woodwork teacher (alder). (Ahman 1995 ref.4428 4)

Reference:
Ahman M, van Hage-Hamsten M, Johansson SG. IgE-mediated allergy to wood dusts probably does not explain the high prevalence of respiratory symptoms among Swedish woodwork teachers. Allergy 1995;50(7):559-562



[ 11 ]

Occupational asthma, lung function deficits, and elevated levels of respiratory symptoms in workers exposed to pine and spruce wood dust. (Hessel 1995 ref.4427 1)

Reference:
Hessel PA, Herbert FA, Melenka LS, Yoshida K, Michaelchuk D, Nakaza M. Lung health in sawmill workers exposed to pine and spruce. Chest 1995;108(3):642-646



Background Info:

 

Adverse Reactions:


Information supplied from an abridged section of:
Allergy Advisor - Zing Solutions
http://allergyadvisor.com/index.html

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Allergy Advisor  - Food Additive and Preservative Allergy and Intolerance Database


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