Asthma Caused By Workplace Exposure to Various Sensitive Substances

Colophony or rosin is a typical cause of sensitization exposure to allergen at work. It has been among the topmost five causes of asthma in the workplace and in the primary ten causes of contact dermatitis. Occupation asthma typically occurs through constant breathing in of the smolder produced by heated colophony in pliable soldering chemical agent or sometimes in searing melt glue or solutions for removing hair. Nevertheless, there have been incidences in an employee who work on chemicals with colophony heated up to ninety degrees Celsius and from colophony dust. This substance along with its derivatives has caused occupational asthma when combined with coolant oils and other cleaning agents as deodorizer.


Enzymes that convert starch to sugar are alpha amylases. These are used in flour mills and bakeries. These are also utilized for making cleaning products like detergents, animal feeds, textile making, and brews. The number of workers affected by occupational asthma differs among various industries. For instance, in detergent factories, when a certain enzyme used as catalyst to manufacture washing agents is inhaled, it resulted to having symptoms among workers who have been exposed to the enzyme.


A study was conducted to find out the incidences and causes of occupational asthma among individuals who are constantly exposed to flour, grain, and other dusty components. Employees have reported to have experienced symptoms of asthma due to exposure to powdery substance. Research scientists attempted to determine if the symptoms were caused by sensitization meaning exposure to an allergen or an irritation. Apparently, sensitization caused 0.3% of the symptoms in twelve cases. Among these cases the agents accounted for were fungal amylase, flour, and grain.


Exposure to grain is among the causes of asthma. Hence, it is typical for workers in the bakery, the farm, and other industrial unit operations to have this problem. Asthma does not progress and become apparent until a number of weeks or months from the time of exposure.


These are typical causes of asthma in the workplace. Among places that are at increased risk, more or less five to ten percent of workers exposed to isocyanates have developed the condition. Various methods have been suggested to substantiate the diagnosis. Exposure to isocyanates inside the laboratory has shown to be the only most acceptable diagnostic tool among others.

Laboratory animals

Animals along with their products like fur, dander, hair, saliva, and excreted waste products has allergen that can affect human respiratory system and cause certain problems on the skin. According to the National Institute for Occupational safety and Health (NIOSH), thirty-three percent of workers who handle animals show allergic symptoms. This is only a speculative estimation since a lot of those who had allergies at the onset do not continue working within that setting and so were not included in the statistics. Typical symptoms include runny nose, watery eyes, sneezes, and rashes on the skin. More or less ten percent of individuals who work with animals develop occupational asthma. Individuals who had allergies from laboratory animal are more prone to acquire asthma.