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Occupational Risks for Asthma

Posted Jan 24 2013 10:09pm
Posted on Jan. 22, 2013, 6 a.m. in Environment Respiratory

Asthma is among the most common adult diseases in the world. Despite the fact that the risks of chemical exposure have long been known and that there are well-established recommendations for handling chemicals and protective equipment, many cases of asthma are still caused by exposure to toxic substances at work.  Linnea Lillienberg, from Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg (Sweden), and colleagues tracked asthma cases among 13,000 randomly selected adults in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Estonia from 1980 to 2000. According to the study, 429 people had asthma during this period. Population attributable risk for occupational asthma was 14% for men and 7% for women.  The researchers identified high-risk occupations as: spray painters, who are exposed to diisocyanates in paint; plumbers, who handle adhesives and foam insulation; cleaners, who handle detergents;   health care and social services personnel, who are exposed to detergents and latex in latex gloves, especially if the gloves contain powder; food and tobacco industry workers, who are exposed to proteins from the vegetable kingdom; and hair stylists, who handle chemicals in bleach and nail beauticians, who use fast-acting glue.

Lillienberg L, Andersson E, Janson C, Dahlman-Hoglund A, Forsberg B, Toren K, et al. “Occupational Exposure and New-onset Asthma in a Population-based Study in Northern Europe (RHINE).”  Ann Occup Hyg. 2012 Dec 1.

  
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The American Red Cross recommends six basics you should stock for your home in the case of an emergency. Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to carry container (a covered trash container, a camping backpack or a duffle bag) that is kept in a readily accessible location (the guest closet or garage, for example).

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