Worker health and wellness Workplace exposures Respiratory conditions Respiratory protection

Millions have work-related asthma, CDC says


Atlanta – More than 15 percent of asthma cases among employed adults are work-related, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In its report, CDC analyzed data from phone surveys in 22 states. An estimated 12 million adults in those states had asthma, and 15.7 percent (1.9 million) had work-related asthma.

CDC said the findings could provide a baseline for additional research regarding the scope of work-related asthma and prevention strategies for the disease.

“These new, improved results can assist states, other government agencies, health professionals, employers, workers and worker representatives to prioritize disease intervention and prevention efforts to reduce the burden of WRA,” the report states.

According to OSHA, about 11 million workers are exposed to at least one asthma-related risk factor while on the job. The agency says work-related asthma may emerge in a matter of days or a number of years, and protective equipment such as a respirator or exhaust ventilation system does not preclude all workers from developing the disease.

The study was published in the April 10 edition of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.