Physician reports of work‐related asthma in California, 1993–1996*
Work-related asthma is a leading cause of occupational respiratory illness.Methods
Work-related asthma was studied in California over a 36-month period, from March 1, 1993 to February 29, 1996. The surveillance system identified cases from Doctor's First Reports (DFRs), a mandated physician reporting system. Structured follow-up telephone interviews of DFR asthma cases were conducted to collect work history, exposure, and medical information. Statewide employment data was used to calculate disease rates among industry groups.ResultsBased on 945 cases of work-related asthma, the average annual reporting rate for work-related asthma in California was 25/million workers. We estimate that the actual rate is 78/million, adjusted for likely underreporting. Janitors and cleaners (625/million) and firefighters (300/million) had the highest reporting rates of work-related asthma. Half of all work-related asthma cases were associated with agents not known to be allergens.ConclusionsA greater proportion of work-related asthma associated with irritant exposures was identified than has previously been reported. The surveillance data provide a very conservative estimate of the incidence of work-related asthma. Am. J. Ind. Med. 39:72–83, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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ABSTRACT: Professional and domestic cleaning is associated with work-related asthma (WRA). This position paper reviews the literature linking exposure to cleaning products and the risk of asthma and focuses on prevention. Increased risk of asthma has been shown in many epidemiological and surveillance studies, and several case reports describe the relationship between exposure to one or more cleaning agents and WRA. Cleaning sprays, bleach, ammonia, disinfectants, mixing products, and specific job tasks have been identified as specific causes and/or triggers of asthma. Because research conclusions and policy suggestions have remained unheeded by manufactures, vendors, and commercial cleaning companies, it is time for a multifaceted intervention. Possible preventive measures encompass the following: substitution of cleaning sprays, bleach, and ammonia; minimizing the use of disinfectants; avoidance of mixing products; use of respiratory protective devices; and worker education. Moreover, we suggest the education of unions, consumer, and public interest groups to encourage safer products. In addition, information activities for the general population with the purpose of improving the knowledge of professional and domestic cleaners regarding risks and available preventive measures and to promote strict collaboration between scientific communities and safety and health agencies are urgently needed.Allergy 10/2013; · 6.00 Impact Factor
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Article: When to suspect occupational asthma.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Occupational asthma (OA) is a difficult diagnosis to make. The present review describes the work environments in which workers are at risk for developing OA, the characteristics of the individuals in whom OA should be suspected and the investigation that can be performed to diagnose the condition. Accurately diagnosing OA is crucial because of the major social and economic consequences of this diagnosis on the patient.Canadian respiratory journal: journal of the Canadian Thoracic Society 20(6):442-4. · 1.66 Impact Factor