Workplace Environment to Blame in 26 Percent of Adult Asthma Cases

People who work in cleaning, farming, and transportation are particularly vulnerable to asthma, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine. Overall, the study found, 26 percent of all adult asthma cases in the U.S. are caused or exacerbated by the work environment; other risky fields include entertainment, protective services, mining, construction, mechanics, textiles, and fabrication. Adult asthma causes 100 million days of restricted activity, 500,000 hospitalizations, and over $14.5 billion in economic losses in the U.S. Workplace asthma is caused by exposure to solvents, pesticides, dust, oil mist, lubricants, and other chemical compounds. Study author George Delclos, a professor at the University of Texas at Houston, recommended identifying and replacing the culprits on a workplace-by-workplace basis to ease the nation’s asthma problem.