Work-Related Respiratory Disease

A number of respiratory diseases can be caused by exposures in the workplace including diseases which are very serious – such as Cancer and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – which may often be fatal.


Occupational Asthma

Occupational Asthma

The major causes of asthma at work include:

  • Chemicals (isocyanates) found in spray-paint, foam moulding, adhesives, and foundry cores and surface coatings
  • Dust from flour and grain
  • Wood dust (particularly hard wood and red cedar wood dust)
  • Colophony (fumes from glues, soldering and floor cleaners)
  • Dust from insects, animals and their waste products
  • Latex
  • Stress
  • Tobacco smoke

If you notice anything that makes your asthma worse, discuss it with your doctor and with the Health and Safety Officer in your workplace. Taking action to reduce these triggers, and making your employer aware that your asthma is affected is vital. It is also important that you are referred to an occupational asthma specialist to confirm the diagnosis.

  • Chemicals (isocyanates) found in spray-paint, foam moulding, adhesives, and foundry cores and surface coatings
  • Dust from flour and grain
  • Wood dust (particularly hard wood and red cedar wood dust)
  • Colophony (fumes from glues, soldering and floor cleaners)
  • Dust from insects, animals and their waste products
  • Latex
  • Stress
  • Tobacco smoke

If you notice anything that makes your asthma worse, discuss it with your doctor and with the Health and Safety Officer in your workplace. Taking action to reduce these triggers, and making your employer aware that your asthma is affected is vital. It is also important that you are referred to an occupational asthma specialist to confirm the diagnosis.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a serious long-term lung disease in which the flow of air into the lungs is gradually reduced by inflammation of the air passages and damage to the lung tissue. Chronic Bronchitis and emphysema are common types of COPD.

  • The main cause of COPD is smoking, but past exposures to fumes, chemicals and dusts at work will have also contributed to causing many currently occurring cases.
  • Research suggests that about 15% of COPD can be attributed to workplace exposures,
  • Workplace exposures likely to contribute to COPD include various dusts (including, coal, grain, and silica) as well as certain fumes and chemicals (including welding fume, isocyanates, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons).

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Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic Rhinitis

The major causes of asthma at work include:

  • Chemicals (isocyanates) found in spray-paint, foam moulding, adhesives, and foundry cores and surface coatings
  • Dust from flour and grain
  • Wood dust (particularly hard wood and red cedar wood dust)
  • Colophony (fumes from glues, soldering and floor cleaners)
  • Dust from insects, animals and their waste products
  • Latex
  • Stress
  • Tobacco smoke

If you notice anything that makes your asthma worse, discuss it with your doctor and with the Health and Safety Officer in your workplace. Taking action to reduce these triggers, and making your employer aware that your asthma is affected is vital. It is also important that you are referred to an occupational asthma specialist to confirm the diagnosis.

 

  • Chemicals (isocyanates) found in spray-paint, foam moulding, adhesives, and foundry cores and surface coatings
  • Dust from flour and grain
  • Wood dust (particularly hard wood and red cedar wood dust)
  • Colophony (fumes from glues, soldering and floor cleaners)
  • Dust from insects, animals and their waste products
  • Latex
  • Stress
  • Tobacco smoke

If you notice anything that makes your asthma worse, discuss it with your doctor and with the Health and Safety Officer in your workplace. Taking action to reduce these triggers, and making your employer aware that your asthma is affected is vital. It is also important that you are referred to an occupational asthma specialist to confirm the diagnosis.

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