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The dangers of occupational asthma

Michigan workers can sometimes receive illnesses from their work. Many people may not envision that these illnesses include asthma. Yet the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology says that asthma received from work environments is increasingly common and makes up about 15 percent of the cases diagnosed.

Employees may incur occupational asthma in a variety of ways, usually depending on what industry they work in. Some fields, such as those related to animals, may bring workers into contact with allergens, which can develop into asthma over time. Aerosols can sometimes cause natural chemicals to accumulate in the lungs, while exposure to toxic chemicals may also result in asthma. People may work with asthma-triggering substances for years before they realize they are ill, and those with respiratory problems sometimes find that their symptoms become worse.

Employers are required to ensure that workers are safe when they work with hazardous materials. According to the Mayo Clinic, documents detailing the safety of different substances need to be kept on the premises, and employees are able to view these papers. Companies are also required to have guidelines in place that detail the handling of chemicals. These include training employees so that materials are handled safely and distributing equipment that will keep them safe.

Occupational asthma has the ability to affect an employee’s quality of life outside of the workplace. For example, allergens at home may exacerbate the inflammation caused on the job, and a person may also have to adjust other personal habits to prevent symptoms from becoming worse. To control their asthma in all situations, workers may have to take measures outside of their jobs, such as limiting the amount of exposure they receive to substances such as chlorine and the emissions from cars.

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