Asthma is a disease that affects the lungs; the airways become narrow and inflamed. Symptoms can include:
- Episodes of wheezing
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
Asthma can be controlled by taking medicine and avoiding triggers that can cause asthma symptoms.
Work-related asthma is asthma triggered by an exposure at work. Many asthma triggers can be found in the workplace. Over 300 known or suspected substances in the workplace can cause or worsen asthma. Avoiding triggers can prevent asthma from getting worse.
Worsening asthma or new onset asthma in a worker should raise questions about workplace causes. Asthma symptoms can develop shortly after exposure, or they can develop months or years after repeated exposures to harmful substances.
Learn about the triggers and causes of work-related asthma and how to prevent it as an employee or an employer.
Learn about diagnosing and managing work-related asthma.
Learn about the research NIOSH is conducting on work-related asthma.
- Page last reviewed: May 11, 2017
- Page last updated: July 14, 2017
- Content source:
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Respiratory Health Division