BACKGROUNDOccupational asthma, according to existing national workplace health surveillance systems, has been the most commonly reported occupational respiratory disease in both the United States and Great Britain for more than two decades. Occupational asthma is defined as “… work‐related asthma characterized by variable airflow obstruction, airway hyperresponsiveness, and airway inflammation attributable to a particular exposure in the workplace and not due to stimuli encountered outside the workplace.” As distinguished from work‐exacerbated asthma (in which workplace factors act as a trigger for pre‐existing asthma), occupational asthma arises de novo in the workplace, either due to specific (“allergic”) sensitization to workplace agents (“occupational asthma with latency”) or as a nonspecific consequence of exposure to airborne irritant chemicals (“occupational asthma without latency”/“irritant‐induced asthma”). Specific sensitization, in turn, can occur to either high molecular weight (HMW) substances (typically proteinaceous materials from animal or plant sources) or low molecular weight (LMW) substances (typically reactive synthetic organic chemicals).Occupational rhinitis has recently gained increased attention, and has been subject to definitions and subclassifications analogous to those of occupational asthma. The European Academy of Allergy and Immunology (EAACI), for example, defines occupational rhinitis as “… an inflammatory disease of the nose, which is characterized by intermittent or
American Journal of Industrial Medicine – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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