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Asthma and your work

In a situation where working in certain environment causes asthma for the first time due to the exposure to allergens such as fumes, smoke, dust, etc. Apart from this if you are already suffering from asthma it gets worsen and there is improvement when the work place is not visited, such asthma is called occupational asthma.

The causes of occupational asthma are:

Direct Irritants : These are certain chemicals such as hydrochloric acid, ammonia which causes reaction such as wheezing immediately after the exposure. Such irritants could be called direct irritants.

Long Term Exposure : Here the long term exposure to enzymes in washing powder (from washing powder factory), chemical molecules causes the symptoms to be seen and later it causes asthma.

Accumulation of naturally occurring chemicals in the body Chemicals such as histamine or accetylcholine which are present in the lungs sometimes causes asthma.

There are instances where working with certain substances has caused asthma, these substances are known to cause occupational asthma.

These substances are:

• Adhesives

• Animal and insects

• Azodicarbonamide

• Drug Manufacture

• Dyes such as carmine

• Flour, grain and coffee beans

• Ipecacuanha

• Ispaghula

• Metals like aluminium,cobalt,chrome,nickel,platinum salts and stainless steel.

• Proteolytic Enzymes- in baking, meat tenderizing and detergent manufacturing

• Soldering Flux

• Wood dust Research says that if one is able to identify and change the occupation within six months of the symptoms the asthma could be checked upon but after six months it would be permanent even if one changes the occupation.