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What causes occupational asthma?

There are many agents in the workplace that can cause occupational asthma. More than 240 causes of occupational

asthma have been identified. Most commonly, these include protein molecules (wood dust, grain dust, animal dander, fungi) or other chemicals (especially di-isocyanates). Chemical dusts or vapors from plasticizers, polyurethane paints, insulation, foam mattresses and upholstery, and packaging materials used in manufacturing and processing operations. Among specific chemicals known to cause asthma are the isocyanates, trimellitic anhydride, and phthalic anhydride. Animal substances such as hair, dander, mites, small insects, bacterial or protein dusts. Exposed workers at special risk include farmers, animal handlers, shepherds, grooms, jockeys, veterinarians, and kennel workers. Wood products such as western red cedar, some pine and birch woods, and mahogany used by woodworkers and some farm workers; pine resin used in electrical devices. Organic dusts such as flour, cereals, grains, coffee and tea dust, papain dust from meat tenderizer. These substances can cause asthma in millers, bakers, and other food processors. Cotton, flax, and hemp dust inhaled by workers in cotton processing and textile industries. Metals such as platinum, chromium, nickel sulfate, and soldering fumes, Workers are exposed in refining and manufacturing operations.Though the actual rate of occurrence of occupational asthma is unknown, it is suspected to cause between 2 and 20 percent of all cases of asthma in industrialized nations.
 

More information on occupational asthma

What is occupational asthma? - Occupational asthma is a form of lung disease in which the breathing passages shrink, swell, or become inflamed or congested as a result of exposure to irritants in the workplace.
What causes occupational asthma? - There are many agents in the workplace that can cause occupational asthma. More than 240 causes of occupational asthma have been identified.
What're the symptoms of occupational asthma? - Symptoms and signs of occupational asthma include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.
How is occupational asthma diagnosed? - The history reveals a pattern of worsening symptoms of occupational asthma associated with exposure to a specific agent or workplace environment.
What's the treatment for occupational asthma? - The objective of treatment for occupational asthma is to limit exposure to the allergen and improve symptoms with bronchodilator therapy.
How to prevent occupational asthma? - Reduction in exposure to the occupational trigger is the most important step to prevent occupational asthma.
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