ad info




CNN.com
 MAIN PAGE
 WORLD
 ASIANOW
 U.S.
 LOCAL
 POLITICS
 WEATHER
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 TECHNOLOGY
 NATURE
 ENTERTAINMENT
 BOOKS
 TRAVEL
 FOOD
 HEALTH
 STYLE
 IN-DEPTH

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

  CNN WEB SITES:
CNN Websites
 TIME INC. SITES:
 MORE SERVICES:
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines
 pointcast
 pagenet

 DISCUSSION:
 message boards
 chat
 feedback

 SITE GUIDES:
 help
 contents
 search

 FASTER ACCESS:
 europe
 japan

 WEB SERVICES:
 
NATURE

Jobs can cause asthma, study finds

Up to 10 percent of asthma cases may be job related, according to recent research conducted in Barcelona, Spain   

May 26, 1999
Web posted at: 11:45 AM EDT





Do you suffer asthma caused by your occupation? Up to 10 percent of asthma cases may be job related according to recent research in Barcelona, Spain. The highest risk group that was involved in the study includes farmers, painters, plastic workers and cleaners.

Asthma affects about one in 20 adults. It occurs when the bronchial tubes swell up and go into a spasm, blocking the passage of air in and out of the lungs. In many sufferers the illness is triggered by allergens, but the cause in many other sufferers is unknown. Dust mites and air pollution are also thought to aggravate the illness.

Cases of asthma are increasing by up to 50 percent every 10 years.

According to a report from the American Lung Association, occupational asthma results when the airways overreact to dusts, vapors, gases or fumes that exist in the workplace. In the early stages of occupational asthma, symptoms usually decrease or disappear during weekends or vacations, only to recur upon return to work.

Subsequently, symptoms may occur away from the work environment after exposure to common lung irritants. Once the airways have a pattern of overreacting, many common substances such as cigarette smoke, house dust or cold air may produce asthma-like symptoms.

Dr. Manolis Kogevinas and his colleagues at the Respiratory and Environmental Health Research Unit in Barcelona analyzed data from 15,637 people in 12 industrialized countries who were questioned about their asthma symptoms and their employment.

"Excess asthma risk was associated with high exposure to biological dusts, mineral dusts and gases and fumes," Kogevinas said in The Lancet medical journal. "We showed a consistent excess risk for farmers and cleaners in nearly all countries in our study," said Kogevinas. "The group of cleaners was the largest of the 16 occupational groups to show an increase in asthma of more than 30 percent."

Emil Bardana, M.D., vice president of the American College of Allergy Asthma Immunology, said he is weary of such questionnaire studies because "how people define their conditions is never as good as a face to face examination with a doctor."

"I believe the study doesn't give us many greater insights about the prevalence of the disease."

Copyright 1999, Environmental News Network, All Rights Reserved



RELATED STORIES:
'Smog pagers' help asthmatics stay out of the goop
April 23, 1999
Writing helps control chronic asthma and arthritis
April 13, 1999
U.S. agency adds warning labels for asthma, allergy drugs
November 10, 1998


RELATED ENN STORIES:
Children inhale more pollution
Clinton bans smoking in federal workplaces
Education may reduce dangerous impact of Asthma
Workplace can cause Asthma

RELATED SITES:
About Asthma
Obesity may hike Asthma risk
Occupational Asthma
American Lung Association
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

 LATEST HEADLINES:
SEARCH CNN.com
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.