Early Disease Detection Health & Wellness

Is Your Job Increasing Your Risk for Asthma?

People work for different reasons, such as to buy a house, send their kids to the best schools in town, pay for insurance, shop for clothes, feed the family, and more. However, even the most glamorous job doesn’t offer a sense of long-term security, and some can even make you sick. But never mind job security for now and pay attention to job descriptions that could take a toll on your health.

So which jobs are these?

HealthDay reports that workers in the following jobs are at greater risk for asthma because of toxic-chemical exposure on the job:

  • spray painters exposed to compounds called diisocyanates in paint
  • plumbers who handle adhesives and foam insulation
  • cleaners who come into contact with detergents
  • health care and social services personnel who use latex gloves and are exposed to detergents
  • food and tobacco industry workers exposed to certain proteins
  • hair stylists who handle chemicals in bleach
  • nail beauticians who use fast-acting glue

The findings are based on a study of more than 13,000 adults in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Estonia. Cases of asthma were tracked from 1980 to 2000. The researchers reported their findings online in the Annals of Occupational Hygiene, stating that 7 percent of the asthma cases among women and up to 14 percent among men were linked to the workplace.

“To be able to work proactively, it is essential to show which substances at work increase the risk of asthma and which occupations are high-risk,” Linnea Lillienberg, a researcher at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, said in a university news release.

Lillienberg added that while some people are more susceptible to asthma, “the risk was greater among those who were exposed to epoxy and diisocyanates, which are found in glue, varnish and foam plastic.”

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