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AAAAI: Asthma on the Job
Date:10/3/2007

make a person more likely to develop occupational asthma. However, many individuals who have no such history may develop asthma if exposed to conditions that trigger it. Workers who smoke are at greater risk for developing asthma to some occupational exposures, but not to others.

The incidence of occupational asthma varies by industry, but some workers are at a greater risk than others. Workers who may be at a higher risk include:

-- Health care professionals

-- Employees who wear powdered natural rubber latex gloves

-- Workers manufacturing plastics, rubbers or foam products

-- Bakers and pastry makers

-- Cosmetologists and hairdressers

-- Housekeepers and janitors

-- Workers handling two part adhesives or paints

-- Textile and carpet workers

-- Animal handlers, veterinarians and scientists working with laboratory

animals

Preventing Occupational Asthma

Occupational asthma is one disease that potentially can be cured, once the cause is identified and worker exposure is reduced or eliminated. Some, though not all, occupational allergens have exposure limits set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and exposed workers should be monitored by health and safety officers in the workplace. However, the introduction of new materials and processes, as well as new uses for old materials, mean that workers remain exposed to asthma causing agents in the workplace. Workers who have allergic or asthmatic symptoms on the job, or who anticipate being exposed to agents that increase their risk of developing asthma, should see an allergist/immunologist for an evaluation and proper diagnosis. In some cases, pre-treatment with asthma and/or allergy medications may counteract the effects of such workplace substances. In other situations, however, complete avoidance of exposure is necessary.

Reducing exposure to occupational asthma triggers, receiving appropriate diagnosis and t
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SOURCE American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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