Agent Name


Alternative Name


Major Category

Biological Agents


CLASSES; beta-Glucuronidase [9001-45-0]




The most commonly used enzyme groups are proteases, amylases, lipases, lysozymes, cellulases, hemicellulases, xylanases, glucoamylases, pectinases, lactases, catalases, phytase (phosphatase), and hyaluronidases. These enzymes are used in the following industries: pharmacy, dairy, bakery, catering/food, animal feed, paper, detergent, and textile. [Reference #1]Enzymes are used in the following industries: Baking (alpha-amylase and proteases); Brewing (amylase, glucanases, proteases); Dairy (rennin, lipases, lactases); Starch (amylases, amyloglucosideases, glucoamylases, glucose isomerase); Paper (amylases, xylanases, cellulases, ligninases); Biofuel (cellulases, ligninases); Rubber (catalase); and Photographic (protease). In addition, enzymes are used in molecular biology (restriction enzymes, DNA ligase, DNA polymerase); contact lens cleaners (proteases); laundry detergents (proteases, amylases, lipases, cellulases); meat tenderizers (papain); fruit juices (cellulases, pectinases); and baby foods (trypsin). [Wikpedia]


Enzymes that cause contact urticaria include alpha-amylase, cellulases, glucoamylase, papain, protease, and xylanase. [Kanerva, p. 221] Allergens that cause asthma, based on "Agents Causing Occupational Asthma with Key References" by Chan-Yeung & Malo. [Malo] All enzymes should be labeled as "may cause sensitization by inhalation." [Reference #1] The most important enzymes in this group are the subtilisins (proteolytic enzymes produced by Bacillus subtilis and used in laundry detergents). The subtilisins are covered separately in this database. Other enzymes which esperasehave also caused occupational asthma include papain from papaya, bromelin from pineapple, and trypsin from hogs. Enzymes such as trypsin, papain, pepsin, pancreatin, flaviastase, bromelin, lactase, egg and serratial lysosyme, and serratial peptidase are used in the pharmaceutical industry. 3.9% of 154 hospital workers exposed to empynase (pronase B) developed asthma; Fungal amylase and fungal amyloglucosidase and hemicellulase are used by bakers. Esperase is another enzyme used in the detergent industry. Workers have been exposed to xylanase in the laboratory and pectinase in enzyme factories.

Reference Link

Enzymes as occupational and environmental respirat...[Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2005] - PubMed Result

Exposure Assessment
Reference Link

Managing the Risk of Occupational Allergy in the Enzyme Detergent Industry.

Adverse Effects


Links to Other NLM Databases
Toxicity Information


Related Information in HazMap

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:


Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: