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How does occupational asthma occur?

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Occupational asthma is asthma caused by, or worsened by, exposure to substances in the workplace. These substances may cause asthma in one of 3 ways:

  • An allergic reaction (like people with allergies who develop allergic asthma)
  • An irritant reaction (like a person that reacts to smoking with asthma)
  • A reaction which results in the buildup of naturally occurring chemicals such as histamines in the lungs resulting in an asthma attack

From: Occupational Asthma WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: U.S. Department of Labor: "Safety and Health Topics: Occupational Asthma." American Lung Association: "Occupational Asthma."  American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "Occupational Asthma" and "Show Occupational Asthma Who’s Boss."


Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on May 16, 2018

SOURCES: U.S. Department of Labor: "Safety and Health Topics: Occupational Asthma." American Lung Association: "Occupational Asthma."  American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "Occupational Asthma" and "Show Occupational Asthma Who’s Boss."


Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on May 16, 2018

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What are examples of occupational asthma?

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