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Control workplace hazards-protect worker health and productivity: asthma & western red cedar.

Authors
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Source
Olympia, WA: Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, 64-2-2004, 2004 May; :1-3
NIOSHTIC No.
20044244
Abstract
What is work-related asthma? Asthma is a chronic lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. Work-related asthma is a form of asthma caused by exposures in the workplace. There are two types of workrelated asthma. The first is when a worker who has never had breathing problems develops asthma from exposures at work. The other is when a worker already has asthma, but it is made worse by work exposures. How does Western Red Cedar cause asthma? Western Red Cedar contains a chemical called plicatic acid that causes an allergic reaction (called sensitization) in some people. There is no way to predict who will become sensitized to plicatic acid so it is important to limit the exposures of all workers. Prevention Strategies: Asthma from Western Red Cedar can be prevented. The best defense against workrelated asthma is a good offense. Prevent asthma by keeping your work environment clean and free of cedar dust as much as possible. Control Methods: 1. Engineering solutions: Change the way things are done to lessen the worker's exposure to dust. A. Enclose and ventilate machines to keep the work area clean and free of dust. B. Install local exhaust ventilation to remove dust before it enters the work environment. 2. Administrative controls: A. Train workers on the importance of minimizing cedar dust. B. Provide wash facilities and changing areas to decrease take home exposure to cedar dust. 3. Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as respirators: Use this as a last resort. Be sure the worker is properly trained and fitted to use PPE.
Keywords
Injuries; Injury-prevention; Workers; Work-environment; Humans; Men; Women; Bronchial-asthma; Lung; Lung-disease; Pulmonary-function; Pulmonary-system; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Respiratory-system-disorders; Respiration; Dusts; Dust-exposure; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Respirators; Training; Education; Ventilation; Face-masks; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment
Contact
SHARP Program, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, PO Box 44330, Olympia, WA 98504-4330
Publication Date
20040525
Document Type
Other
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
2004
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U01-OH-007292
Source Name
Control workplace hazards-protect worker health and productivity: asthma & western red cedar
State
WA
Performing Organization
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
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