In the U.S., an estimated 15% of adult asthma is related to occupational factors. Occupational asthma includes "new-onset" asthma, or asthma that occurs for the first time in response to allergens or irritants in the workplace, and "work-aggravated" asthma, or pre-existing asthma made worse by workplace exposure.
Workers most likely to develop the disease are those with a personal or family history of allergies or asthma and frequent exposure to highly sensitizing substances, but the disease can also develop in individuals with no known allergies.
The primary industries for occupational asthma are: transportation, equipment manufacturing, health services and educational services. Laborers represent 33% of cases, management and professionals 20%, and technical and administrative support workers 19%.
The top reported exposure agents are: chemicals, indoor air pollution, dust, cleaning materials, cutting oils, smoke, paint, latex and mold.
NH Resources for Employees and Employers
Hooksett, NH 03106
53 Pleasant Street, Room 3901
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 225-1629
Fax: (603) 225-1580
Contact: George L. Kliens, C.I.H., OSHA - Assistant Area Director for Concord, NH Area Office
American College of Governmental and Industrial Hygienist's Link Section: Includes a comprehensive list of websites useful for the occupational health and safety professional.