Asthma - sources of information

Australia

  • National Asthma Council Australia - a not-for-profit body, provides information on asthma

  • Bulletin 59 (April 2008): Occupational asthma in Australia [pdf], produced by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

United Kingdom

Health and Safety Executive

The HSE, the UK's OHS Authority, has website specifically on Occupational and Work-Related Asthma. It has four major parts to it:

  1. Your trade - information and advice for jobs with the highest rates of occupational asthma: bakers, vehicle spray painters, solderers, woodworkers, healthcare workers, laboratory animal workers, agriculture workers, and engineering workers.

  2. For employers - information, legislation, health surveillance and reporting

  3. About Asthma - Symptoms, Occupational asthma and Work-related asthma, and

  4. Case Studies - a number of these covering bakers, woodworkers, health care workers, and working with isocyanates

as well as resources, FAQs and links to other related sites.

The HSE also has information on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and resources. 

UK: Occupational asthma guides

The British Occupational Health Research Foundation (BOHRF) has published two asthma guides. The first, backed by UK union council TUC and the HSE, is a guide for employers, workers and their representatives, covers types and causes of work-related asthma, how to spot problems at work and what to do if someone developed work-related asthma. A second guide, published by BOHRF with HSE backing, aims to help doctors and practice nurses identify the cause of asthma when diagnosing patients, especially where the disease may be traced to the workplace. The guidelines ask doctors and practice nurses to help prevent occupational asthma by, for example, asking patients about the nature of their work and their workplace.

  • Occupational asthma: A guide for employers, workers and their representatives [pdf], and

  • Occupational asthma: Identification, management and prevention: evidence based review and guidelines. [pdf]

  • The UK's Royal College of Physicians (RCP) says that an estimated one in six cases of asthma in the UK in people of working age is either caused or aggravated by work-related factors. The RCP has issued guidance (April 2012) which advises hospital doctors to question patients with respiratory problems about their job, the materials they work with and whether their symptoms improve when they are away from work.  Concise guidance: diagnosis, management and prevention of occupational asthma [pdf]

US: NIOSH

  • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) asthma website: a resource for preventing occupational asthma.
  • Also from the US, California's OSHA: Ten steps to protect workers from asthma 
  • A 2012 report by global interdisciplinary design firm Perkins+Will and compiled from an analysis of eight lists of published research from both academic and government sources: Healthy Environments: A Compilation of Substances Linked to Asthma [pdf], which identifies 374 substances commonly found in the built environment that are known or suspected asthmagens.  Also included in the report is detailed information on the occupations and industries that come into the most contact with these potentially hazardous materials.

Canada

Last amended February 2015

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