From: Alan Hall <ahalltoxic**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chronicle of Higher Ed article: My Lab Makes Me Sick
Date: Fri, 4 Oct 2013 09:18:11 -0600
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: CAHFAP+4DMVR+6VS6M0WLKkLekez8iTxA_o+LvUzECXW1gAr7kg**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <8D08F20F263AA17-D6C-55DB7**At_Symbol_Here**>

I wouls also be concerned that this might represent a RADS (Reactive Airways Dysfunction Symdrome) or a RADS-like condition. I have seen it clinically from exposure to organic solovent such as toluene and xylenes. There are criteria set up originally in the 1908's by Brooks net al and subsequently modified by professional organizations to include evidence of an obstructive pulmonary defect on pulomnary function tests.
RADS and/or RADS-like illnesses may have three clinical outcomes over time (weeks to months or more): 1) the condition remains unchanged; 2) the condition gradually resolves over time, and 3) the condition may become less severe with less frequent and less severe bronchospastic "attacks".
Both conditions are usually characterized by a single, high-concentration exposure to any respiratory irritant substance, but subsequent beonchospastic "attacks" can be triggered by inhalation exposure to any irritant swubstance (chemically-related or not) in contrast to classic occupational asthma (isocyanates are the classicly involved substances) in which bronchospastic "attacks" are only triggered by inhalation exposure to chemically-related substances. The medical treatment does not differ from the treatment of bronchospasm of any etiology.
Alan H. Hall, M.D.

On Fri, Oct 4, 2013 at 7:58 AM, Monona Rossol <actsnyc**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
How interesting, Ralph. Of course my take on these items is always different. I want to know if Workers' Comp from the school where the accident occurred will be picking up the asthma bills for the rest of her life as it should. Since adult onset asthma is an event that will not only change her job, but her personal life, I'd like to know more of how she accommodates herself off the job. I also want to be certain that the school she is at now provides a trained monitor physically in the lab with the students. Since she is both a woman and one with a disability, wanna bet her career pretty much stays at the level she is now? As both a woman and an adult onset asthmatic, I'm more than just curious.
Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A., Industrial Hygienist
President: Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.
Safety Officer: Local USA829, IATSE
181 Thompson St., #23
New York, NY 10012 212-777-0062

-----Original Message-----
From: Ralph B. Stuart <rstuart**At_Symbol_Here**CORNELL.EDU>
Sent: Fri, Oct 4, 2013 8:52 am
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Chronicle of Higher Ed article: My Lab Makes Me Sick

CHAS People with on line access to the Chronicle of Higher Education may be 
interested in this article/

My Lab Makes Me Sick
How do you supervise undergraduate research if you can no longer work in your 

By LuAnne McNulty

Asthma is an impairment that can go unnoticed. For many people with asthma, the 
physical work environment is essential to being able to function on the job.. 
That is absolutely the case for me.

I have been in and out of chemistry laboratories in an academic setting for the 
past 20 years, first as a student, then as a postdoc, and now as a faculty 
member at a comprehensive master's university. A few years ago, I became an 
asthmatic after what appeared to be a minor lab accident. Unfortunately, as it 
turned out, my asthma was (and is) triggered by volatile organic compounds. 
Imagine an organic chemist who has asthma attacks as a result of volatile 
organic chemicals.

I noticed it thanks to the latest edition of the C&EN Safety Zone blog's Friday 
chemical safety roundup.

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart CIH
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Department of Environmental Health and Safety
Cornell University


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