Occupational and environmental lung disease: occupational asthma

Chronic Respiratory Disease
S C Stenton


Occupational exposures cause 10-15% of new-onset asthma in adults, and that represents a considerable health and economic burden. Exposure to many causative agents is now well controlled but workplace practices are constantly evolving and new hazards being introduced. Overall, there is no good evidence that the incidence of occupational asthma is decreasing. Evidence-based guidelines such as those published by the British Occupational Health research Foundation and Standards of Care documents should help raise awareness of the problem and improve management. Key targets include the control of occupational exposures, a high index of suspicion in any adult with new onset asthma, and early detailed investigation.


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