|Understand your MSDS with the MS-Demystifier||Search ALL our MSDS info|
Asthma is a chronic (lifelong) inflammatory lung disease that makes it harder to move air in and out of your lungs. When exposed to certain environmental triggers such as pet dander, smoke, poor air quality, certain medications and more, the lungs become more inflamed, leading to symptoms such as increased mucus production, tightening of the airway, bronchospasms, wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. While such such sudden episodes ("asthma attacks") can be life-threatening, most asthma is controllable through lifestyle modifications and medications. While there is no cure, most patients live normal healthy lives.
Occupational asthma, a form of asthma, is a lung disease in which the airways overreact to dusts, vapors, gases, or fumes that exist in the workplace. Symptoms include wheezing, a tight feeling in the chest, coughing and shortness of breath.
Hundreds of different substances in the workplace can cause occupational asthma. These can be broken down into two basic classes.
While occupationally-related asthma is usually reversible, chronic exposure to an irritant can result in permanent lung damage. The worker may become generally asthmatic, reacting to molds, allergens, cigarette smoke, dust mites, pet dander etc.
According to OSHA, 11 million US workers in a wide range of industries and occupations are exposed to at least one of the numerous agents known to be associated with occupational asthma. They estimated that occupational factors are associated with up to 15 percent of disabling asthma cases in the United States. See the American Lung Association link and others below for specific examples and further information.
See also: dust, emphysema, respiratory, sensitizer.
Additional definitions from Google and OneLook.
Entry last updated: Wednesday, August 10, 2016. This page is copyright 2000-2016 by ILPI. Unauthorized duplication or posting on other web sites is expressly prohibited. Send suggestions, comments, and new entry desires (include the URL if applicable) to us by email.
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is believed to be true and accurate, however ILPI makes no guarantees concerning the veracity of any statement. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. ILPI strongly encourages the reader to consult the appropriate local, state and federal agencies concerning the matters discussed herein.