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What is occupational asthma?

| Jun 30, 2020 | Occupational Illness |

Asthma is an increasing problem worldwide. It is the leading childhood disease. However, just because you did not have asthma as a child does not mean you cannot get it as an adult. Occupational asthma or work-related asthma is the term used for asthma caused by or worsened by something in your workplace environment.

What are the symptoms of asthma?

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Streaming eyes or nose

What workplace substances can cause or worsen asthma?

There are 250 substances identified in workplaces that cause asthma, according to Mayo Clinic. You may find these in various workplaces, from a building site to a hairdresser’s salon … from a car repair garage to a bakery to a vet’s surgery. Here are some of the substances that may be present in your workplace:

  • Paint
  • Glue
  • Metals
  • Animal skin
  • Flour
  • Sawdust
  • Detergents
  • Gases
  • Hair dyes
  • Insulation materials


What should employers do to reduce the risk of asthma?

Your employer has a duty to provide you with a safe place to work. If you work with chemicals that could cause asthma, your employer should train you to handle them safely. They must provide appropriate personal safety equipment.

Can I claim compensation for work-related asthma?

Whether substances in your workplace aggravate childhood asthma that you had under control or cause you asthma for the first time, they can have severe health consequences. They could leave you reliant on an inhaler, affect your ability to carry out sports or go for a walk. Asthma could even kill you. Seek legal help if you believe going to work is endangering your health. You may be entitled to claim on your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.

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