Opportunities and Obstacles in Translating Evidence to Policy in Occupational Asthma

RUHRC Authors: Arif, A
Publication Date: 03/31/2017
Full Publication: Opportunities and Obstacles in Translating Evidence to Policy in Occupational Asthma

Abstract

Purpose: Occupational asthma (OA), a common respiratory disorder in Western countries, is caused by exposures at the workplace. It is part of a broader definition of work-related asthma (WRA) that also includes pre-existing asthma aggravated by substances present in the workplace environment, and it is potentially preventable. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate preventive measures for occupational asthma by case studies.

Methods: In three case studies we discuss preventive measures that have been associated with reductions in incidence of occupational asthma from natural rubber latex and from diisocyanates as supported by published literature. We also discuss challenges in relation to asthma from cleaning products in healthcare work.

Results and conclusions: Several preventive measures have been associated with reduction in incidence of occupational asthma from natural rubber latex and from diisocyanates, and may provide lessons for prevention of other causes of occupational asthma. Cleaning products remain an unresolved problem at present with respect to asthma risks but potential measures include the use of safer products and safer applications such as avoidance of spray products, use of occupational hygiene methods such as improving local ventilation, and when appropriate, the use of personal protective devices.

Suggested Citation

Tarlo SM, Arif AA, Delclos GL, Henneberger P, Patel J. Opportunities and Obstacles in Translating Evidence to Policy in Occupational Asthma. Ann Epidemiol. 2017; epub ahead of print March 31.