If you have developed asthma as an adult, it may have been caused by something at work; this is known as occupational asthma.
If you suspect tyou may have occupational asthma, look out for the following signs:
- Your symptoms are worse during the week and when at work or just after work.
- Your sleep is disrupted because of increased symptoms during the week.
- Your symptoms improve when you’re not at work, for example when you’re on holiday or at weekends.
- It is particularly suspicious if symptoms like hay fever, cough and wheeze appear, especially if you are a non smoker.
Occupational asthma builds up over time and can take weeks, months or even years to develop.
Major asthma triggers that can be found at work include:
- The chemicals found in spray-paints, foam moulding, adhesives, foundry cores and surface coatings.
- Dust from flour and grain.
- Wood dust and shavings, especially hard wood and red cedar wood dust.
- Fumes from glues, soldering and floor cleaners (this is known as colophony).
The following article which appeared in the "Health & Safety Times" magazine deals with work aggravated asthma and the Asthma Society’s general awareness campaigns on Asthma control and the resources the Society provides for people with Asthma.