05 June 2011

Asthma and Work

Approximately 15 percent of adults with asthma experience occupational asthma. The occupational asthma is a type of asthma caused by exposure to inhaled irritants in the workplace. Occupational asthma is often a reversible condition, which means the symptoms may disappear when avoiding the irritants that caused the asthma. However, permanent damage can occur if the person experiences prolonged exposure. Examples of irritants in the workplace include:
  • Dust
  • Gases
  • Humos
  • Vapors

What are the symptoms of occupational asthma?

Occupational asthma often begins with a cough or other symptoms of asthma such as wheezing and chest tightness, which may occur during exposure to the irritant at work. Sometimes, occupational asthma symptoms do not appear until several hours after exposure, even when at home after work . At the onset of the disease, symptoms may subside during weekends and holidays. However, during the later stages of occupational asthma, asthma symptoms may begin occurring during exposure to other common asthma triggers such as smoke, dust and temperature changes.

What substances cause occupational asthma?

Although every day develop new substances that can cause occupational asthma , some irritants in the workplace air (according to the American Lung Association, include:
Irritating Examples Type of occupations / environments at risk
Chemical dusts and vapors Isocyanates, trimellitic acid, acid phallic Manufacturers of foam mattresses and upholstery, insulation, packaging materials, plasticizers, polyurethane paint
Animal substances Polvos of bacteria, dander, hair, dust mites, polvos protein, small insects Farms, animal trainers, kennel workers, jockeys, veterinarians,
Organic dusts Cereals, coffee, flour, grains, tea Millers, bakers and other food processors
Cotton, flax and hemp dust
Dusts from cotton and textile industry Workers in cotton and textile industry workers
Metals Chromium, nickel sulfate, platinum, soldering fumes Manufacturers of metals and refineries

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