Asthma at Work

Many people find that their asthma symptoms get worse at work. This can be due to cleaning sprays, house dust mites, small particles in the air, or even working outdoor if you experience hay fever.

Carpenter at work

If you have developed asthma as an adult, it may have been caused by something at work; this is known as occupational asthma. Occupational asthma builds up over time and can take weeks, months or even years to develop. ISpeak to your doctor if you suspect this may be happening to you.

Symptoms of Occupational Asthma:

  • 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.

Woman in safety gear

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.

Click Here to Download

Related Documents: