Thursday, June 21, 2012

Occupational Asthma

Occupational asthma is a lung disorder in which substances found in the workplace cause the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow, leading to attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing.

Many substances in the workplace can cause occupational asthma. The most common triggers are wood dust, grain dust, animal dander, fungi, or other chemicals (especially diisocyanates).
Though the actual rate of occurrence of occupational asthma is unknown, it is suspected to cause 2 - 20% of all asthma cases in industrialized nations.
The following workers are at higher risk:
  • Bakers
  • Detergent manufacturers
  • Drug manufacturers
  • Farmers
  • Grain elevator workers
  • Laboratory workers
  • Metal workers
  • Millers
  • Plastics workers
  • Woodworkers

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