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Models and mechanisms of occupational/environmental asthma.
Toxicologist 2006 Mar; 90(1):306
Occupational asthma is defined as variable airflow limitation and bronchial hyperresponsiveness due to causes and conditions encountered in a workplace environment. A myriad of substances are responsible for occupational asthma, including low molecular weight chemicals and protein allergens. Though asthma is treated as a single lung disorder, it is increasingly clear that the pathophysiology of asthma may differ substantially depending on the allergen, exposure conditions and environmental triggers. Diagnostic, immunologic and genetic factors associated with disease development are being actively investigated. Animal models for occupational asthma are being developed to define mechanisms of this lung disorder and determine more effective methods for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of occupational asthma. Both toluene diisocyanate and trimellitic anhydride are prototype low molecular weight chemicals that cause asthma in the workplace, and studies defining the effector mechanisms for these allergens are being investigated. Environmental factors such as ozone and particulate air pollution can exacerbate existing asthma and profoundly influence the pathophysiology and clinical outcome. Understanding the interactions of environmental and genetic factors is also important to define potential populations at risk. Continued studies in the workplace and in animal models are needed to more clearly diagnose, define the pathophysiology and triggers, and effectively treat this important public health problem.
Models; Occupational-health; Occupational-diseases; Environmental-health; Bronchial-asthma; Airway-obstruction; Occupational-exposure; Lung-disorders; Genetic-factors; Immunology; Immunologic-disorders; Animals; Animal-studies; Environmental-factors; Airborne-particles; Air-contamination; Public-health; Workers; Worker-health; Lung-disease; Diseases
Issue of Publication
Disease and Injury: Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
The Toxicologist. Society of Toxicology 45th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo, March 5-9, 2006, San Diego, California
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division