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Work-related asthma surveillance, Massachusetts, 1995 - 2008.

Fitzsimmons K
SENSOR Occup Lung Dis Bull 2010 Aug; :1-2
This issue of the Bulletin includes a summary of cases of work-related asthma (WRA) identified in Massachusetts from 1995-2008. Although the number of cases identified by the surveillance system is believed to be only a small fraction of the total number of persons with WRA in the Commonwealth, the data provide important information about the industries and occupations where workers are at risk and about workplace exposures that need to be addressed. Cases of work-related asthma (WRA) are sentinel health events that indicate the need for preventive intervention. Massachusetts and four other states conduct surveillance to identify cases of WRA and describe industries, occupations and exposures that need attention. For surveillance purposes, a case of WRA is defined as an individual with a physician's diagnosis of asthma and an association between the asthma symptoms and work. WRA includes two main categories: 1) pre-existing asthma aggravated by workplace exposures, and 2) new-onset asthma caused by sensitizers or irritants in the workplace. Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS) is a subset of new-onset asthma distinguished by persistent asthma symptoms caused by a one-time high level irritant exposure.
Occupational-health; Work-environment; Workers; Occupational-exposure; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Bronchial-asthma; Surveillance-programs; Health-hazards; Worker-health; Occupational-diseases; Disease-prevention; Employee-exposure; Physicians; Airway-resistance; Diagnostic-tests
Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Occupational Health Surveillance Program, 250 Washington Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02108
Publication Date
Document Type
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
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Identifying No.
Source Name
SENSOR Occupational Lung Disease Bulletin
Performing Organization
Massachusetts State Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division