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Do you have work-related asthma?

New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS), Public Health Services Branch, Consumer, Environmental and Occupational Health Service, Environmental & Occupational Health Surveillance Program
Trenton, NJ: New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS), 2006 Jan; :1-6
What are the symptoms of asthma? The symptoms of asthma include: 1. wheezing 2. a tight feeling in the chest 3. coughing 4. shortness of breath 5. difficulty breathing What is Work-Related Asthma? Work-related asthma is a disease in which the lungs react to dusts, mists, vapors, gases, or fumes that are in the workplace. These can be allergens or irritants. The two major types of work-related asthma are: 1) New-onset asthma - a healthy worker gets symptoms for the first time while at work. 2) Work-aggravated asthma - pre-existing asthma is worse at work. Symptoms of work-related asthma usually occur while or after a worker is exposed to a particular substance at work. However, some workers will only get symptoms many hours after leaving work. Symptoms usually go away during weekends or vacations, and return after going back to work. Work-related asthma is usually reversible. But permanent lung damage, or even death, can occur if exposure to the substance that causes the disease con tinues. In some workers, very small amounts of the substance can cause an asthrna attack. What causes Work-Related Asthma? There are all sorts of substances in the workplace that may cause work-related asthma. Here are some examples: 1. chemicals in polyurethane paints, cleaning materials, and other products 2. latex rubber 3. grain and flour dust 4. dust (dander) from animals and insects 5. molds Who gets Work-Related Asthma? Workers in hundreds of jobs are potentially exposed to substances in the airthat may cause work-related asthma. Here are some examples of jobs in New Jersey where work-related asthma has been diagnosed: 1. health care workers 2. hairdressers 3. janitors and housekeeping staff 4. bakery workers 5. animal handlers
Respiratory-system-disorders; Respiration; Pulmonary-system; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Pulmonary-function; Diseases; Bronchial-asthma; Humans; Men; Women; Public-health; Surveillance-programs; Risk-factors; Cleaning-compounds; Chemical-composition; Cleaning-compounds; Grain-dusts; Dust-exposure; Dusts; Dust-particles; Animals; Bakery-workers; Housekeeping-personnel; Hairdressers
Publication Date
Document Type
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008338; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-208160
Source Name
Do you have work-related asthma?
Performing Organization
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division