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Occupational asthma

Work exposure can cause or exacerbate asthma and can be associated with asthma variants such as eosinophilic bronchitis, and can have symptoms that mimic asthma.

Occupational asthma can be caused by specific workplace sensitizes, defined as agents that induce asthma via a mechanism associated with a specific immune response.

Occupational sensitizes commonly high molecular weight agents.

Hgh-molecular weight agents of 10 kD, usually can cause production of specific IgE antibodies and typical allergic responses.

Following sensitization low exposures can induce asthma easily.

Almost any protein that is airborne and inhaled can be a potential cause of OA.

While high-molecular weight agents are usually implicated, low-molecular weight chemicals can cause sensitization and asthma.

High-molecular weight agents associated with occupational asthma include:animal allergens, plants and plant products, cereals and grains, milk powder and egg powder, fungi, enzymes, insects, fish and crustaceans, and vegetable gums.

Workers at risk of exposure include: farmers, individuals working with lab animals, veterinarians, greenhouse workers, late text gloves makers, grain workers, bakery workers, food production workers, cooks, office workers, laboratory workers, pharmaceutical workers, workers handling h2242ing or crabs, printers and carpet makers.

Low-molecular weight agents involved in occupational asthma include:diisocyantes, acid anhydrides, acrylic monomers, wood dusts, metal salts, biocides, phenol-formaldehyde resin, persulfates and henna, drugs such as antibiotics, and aliphatic amines.

Workers at risk of occupational asthma from low molecular weight agents include: flexible polyurethane foam workers, installers of polyurethane foam insulation, urethrane spray painters, makers of epoxy resins for plastics, chemical industrial workers, dental workers, aesthetic applying individuals of artificial nails, carpenters, saw mill workers, forestry workers, refinery workers, jewelry workers, metal plating workers, welders of stainless steel, healthcare workers, makers of wood products, foundry workers, hairdressers, pharmaceutical workers, pharmacists, lacquer handlers, soldering workers, spray painters, and professional cleaners.

Occupational asthma may be caused by exposure to agents which are airway irritants, without the presence of sensitization.

Exposure to high levels of alkaline dust as has occurred in the collapse of the World Trade Center is a variant of irritant induced asthma.

Workers included in the exposure of irritants and the precipitation of asthma include cleaners, domestic and industrial, nurses, textile workers, hog farmers, aluminum pot room workers, poultry workers and aluminum smelters.

A spectrum of exposure can lead to asthma by low-level irritants and is difficult to diagnose an individual workers.

Increased risk of asthma in some cases with bronchitis and COPD may have associated irritant exposure.

Occupational asthma generally occurs in a fewer than 10% percent of workers exposed to the most known sensitizing agents.

The rate of sensitization varies with the inherent potency of sensitization by a given agent and also the level of its exposure.

Incidence estimated to be 250-300 cases per million people per year.

It is estimated that 16% of all cases of adult onset asthma are related to occupational exposure.

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