Occupational Asthma: A Threat in the Workplace

Jul 16, 2019
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Occupational asthma is a serious threat in workplaces where there is dust exposure. It does not only affect the health of the employees, but it also harms the environment. Because of the extent of the problem, companies invest in high-quality dust control systems and other innovative solutions. In the rest of this article, we’ll talk more about occupational asthma, including some promising solutions on how to prevent it. 

What is Occupational Asthma?

According to Mayo Clinic, occupational asthma results from breathing dust, gases, and chemicals, among others that can affect the allergic or immunological response. Also called work-related asthma, this is the most common lung disease in the U.S. that is caused by one’s job. 

The common symptoms of occupational asthma include wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. A person with occupational asthma may also experience nasal congestion, runny nose, and eye irritation. 

What are the Effects of Occupational Asthma? 

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute notes that work-related asthma is bigger than what you think. While it has significant health repercussions, it creates a domino effect. When the health of the workers suffers, their productivity also declines. Their quality of life decreases. This is also costly for the business and can impair their financial performance. 

Who is at Risk of Occupational Asthma? 

The ones at risk are those who are directly exposed to dust and fumes, among others that can cause this health problem.  There are more than 250 substances that are responsible for occupational asthma. It is present in various industries and settings, including construction sites, mining operations, hospitals, bakeries, wood processing facilities, and manufacturing plants, among others. Those who smoke or those with existing health problems are at higher risk.

What is the Best Way to Prevent Occupational Asthma? 

There is no single solution that can deliver the highest level of effectiveness in the prevention of occupational asthma. Organizations should have a multi-faceted approach. One of the best solutions is to use dust control equipment, such as those that you will find at Bosstek. They use water to saturate the dust right at the source so that it won’t cause health problems. 

Employees also need to wear personal protective equipment, including goggles, respirators, and masks. This prevents the dust particles from reaching their body. It must be compulsory to wear PPE to protect themselves. Plus, the PPE needs to be comfortable so that it won’t make them uneasy when they are working. 

Evaluating machineries and processes is also important in preventing occupational asthma. Look at the activities that generate fumes and dust. 

Make sure that the organization adheres to the health requirements of the regulating bodies. This does not only promote a safer work environment but also minimizes the legal repercussions since not following the rules set by the authorities can get your business in trouble. 

Occupational asthma is a serious health problem in many work settings. It is crucial that the management finds the best ways to solve the problem to avoid compromising the health of the workers and the profitability of the business. 

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