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Asthma exacerbated at work.

Wagner-GR; Henneberger-PK
Asthma in the workplace and related conditions, third edition. Bernstein IL, Chan-Yeun M, Malo JL, Bernstein DI, eds. New York: Taylor and Francis Group, 2006 Jan; :631-639
Exacerbation of asthma can result from exposures at home, at work, in the outdoor environment, and in public buildings. There is general agreement in clinical practice that troublesome home environmental exposures should be avoided; physicians often advise asthma patients to rid their homes of carpets, drapes, and other furnishings that might be repositories for allergens. Asthma-related exposures in the work environment are less frequently addressed, because exposures are often beyond the control of the individual patient and an employer mayor may not accept their responsibility or have the ability to control exposures. The issue of an affected employee's right to workplace accommodation or compensation further clouds the issue. Specific studies of asthma exacerbated by workplace exposures are limited in number. In many studies of work-related asthma, work-exacerbated asthma (WEA) is not clearly differentiated from asthma with a work-related onset. For example, the European Community Respiratory Health Survey classifies participants by their current or most recent job, for those who are no longer employed, or by the job they left due to health problems (1, 2). The conditions of that job are then used to determine whether the subject was at risk for exposure to asthma agents; this information is used to determine whether the asthma was work-related. In a population-based study conducted in Norway, the researchers asked participants whether they had ever had respiratory symptoms in relation to work (3). While these studies are good for identifying the full impact of work on asthma, they do not separate cases characterized by work-related exacerbation of existing asthma from those characterized by work-related onset of asthma. Other investigators have defined and studied WEA as a separate subcategory within the larger category of occupational asthma or work-related asthma.
Occupational-health; Occupational-diseases; Bronchial-asthma; Workers; Worker-health; Occupational-exposure; Environmental-exposure; Allergens; Work-environment; Exposure-assessment; Respiratory-irritants; Respiratory-system-disorders; Occupational-hazards; Health-hazards
Publication Date
Document Type
Bernstein-IL; Chan-Yeung-M; Malo-JL; Bernstein-DI
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Source Name
Asthma in the workplace and related conditions, third edition
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division