Category: Asthma

The Burden of Work-Related Asthma

Over 300 workplace substances have been identified to cause new-onset asthma and the list continues to grow 1, 2. Other substances can aggravate pre-existing asthma, causing increased illness and medication requirements. Work-related asthma (WRA) comprises both new-onset and work-aggravated asthma3. An estimated 15-55% of all adult asthma is related to work4-7. Since 1988, Michigan has Read More >

Posted on by Kenneth D. Rosenman, MD, and Mary Jo Reilly, MS1 Comment

Workplace Smoke-Free Policies and Cessation Programs

Nearly half a million Americans still die prematurely from tobacco use each year despite the fact that it is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the U.S.1, 2. So what can be done to prevent the toll of smoking in the U.S.? The workplace is an important setting for implementing Read More >

Posted on by Girija Syamlal, MBBS, MPHLeave a comment

Help Set the Research Priorities for Occupational Respiratory Diseases

  Work-related respiratory diseases include both those that are uniquely caused by work, such as coal workers pneumoconiosis, and those that are caused by both work and non-work factors. Asthma is an example of this second type of condition.  Work-related asthma is the most common respiratory disease treated in occupational health clinics in the United Read More >

Posted on by Paul Henneberger, ScD, and David Weissman, MD 20 Comments

Are Hospital Cleaning Staff at Risk When Using a One-step Cleaner?

  Workers’ health and safety is an important consideration when choosing cleaning and disinfectant products. In health care settings, disinfection products help minimize healthcare-acquired infections.  In January 2015, the National Institute for Occupational Health (NIOSH), received a request to conduct a health hazard evaluation at a Pennsylvania hospital using a new surface cleaning product consisting Read More >

Posted on by Brie M. Hawley, PhD34 Comments

Factors Associated with Poor Control of 9/11-related Asthma

  Many people who were exposed to dust and fumes during the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attacks developed asthma. Although asthma is a chronic illness, symptoms can be prevented with medications and avoidance of triggers. However, many factors, including co-existing medical conditions, can make it difficult to keep asthma symptoms under control. Read More >

Posted on by Hannah Jordan, MD, MPH10 Comments

Cleaning for Asthma-Safer Schools Reduces Asthma Risk, Saves Money

  A 43-year-old high-school custodian started having breathing problems he associated with using a bathroom disinfectant and a floor stripper. When he was away from the chemicals for a few months, his breathing problems improved. The problems came back once he returned to work. He visited the emergency room several times, and healthcare providers repeatedly Read More >

Posted on by Debbie Shrem, MPH; Justine Weinberg, MSEHS, CIH; Jennifer Flattery, MPH; Barbara Materna, PhD, CIH3 Comments

Tobacco in the Workplace

  More than half a century has passed since the first Surgeon General’s Report on the health consequences of smoking. Over that 50-year period, cigarette smoking in the U.S. has declined by more than 50% among all U.S. adults. However, tobacco use continues to be the most frequent cause of preventable death and is responsible Read More >

Posted on by David Weissman, MD3 Comments

WTC Rescue/Recovery and Obstructive Airway Disease

  The inhalation of chemicals, particulate matter (dusts and fibers), and the incomplete products of combustion during occupational and environmental disasters has long been associated with respiratory disorders[1]. While there is substantial literature on the association between respiratory diseases and chronic environmental exposures such as air pollution and long term occupational exposure in industries such Read More >

Posted on by Charles B. Hall, PhD6 Comments

National Doughnut Day

Whether you are celebrating National Doughnut Day today with the traditional glazed or a trendy bacon-infused delicacy, take a moment to think about those who bring you these sugary breakfast treats.  We are not passing judgment nor endorsing your breakfast selection (that question is better addressed by you and your nutritionist) but instead encouraging all Read More >

Posted on by Julie Tisdale Pardi, MA 12 Comments

Reducing Worker Exposure to ETS

  What better time than during the American Cancer Society’s  annual Great American Smokeout, to highlight the benefit of  comprehensive smoke-free workplaces  on the health of workers.   Furnishing a smoke-free work environment has been shown to both reduce exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) among non-smokers, and also to decrease smoking among employees.  In Massachusetts, recent Read More >

Posted on by Kathleen Fitzsimmons, MPH5 Comments

Safety and Health in the Theater: Keeping Tragedy out of the Comedies…and Musicals…and Dramas

On Sunday, the 2012 Tony Awards celebrated the year’s best offerings from “The Great White Way.”  While the theater provides entertainment, the preparation and production of live performances can also pose hazards to those working in all aspects of the theater –from actors on stage to set designers behind the scenes and musicians in the Read More >

Posted on by Gregory A. Burr, CIH and Deborah Hornback, MS37 Comments

Warning: Surgeon General Finds that Cigarette Smoking Is Even More Dangerous to Your Health

Yesterday, the Surgeon General issued the 30th Surgeon General's Report on the dangers of smoking tobacco. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and is responsible for 443,000 deaths each year. Tobacco use can increase risk of illness for those exposed to carcinogens in the workplace and second-hand smoke can place non-smoking workers at risk for smoking-related diseases. Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD, David Weissman, MD, Casey Chosewood, MD29 CommentsTags

State-based Occupational Safety and Health Surveillance

How did NIOSH find out that cases of coal workers' pneumoconiosis (black lung) were on the rise after years of decline? The answer, state based occupational health surveillance.  Read More >

Posted on by Yvonne Boudreau, MD, MSPH, Liz Dalsey, MA, and Max Kiefer, MS, CIH2 Comments

Multifaceted Approach to Assess Indoor Environmental Quality

Indoor work environments have changed. However, many questions remain regarding occupational asthma and work-exacerbated asthma and the indoor environment. What are the irritants/sensitizers that cause these diseases? Can they be controlled? What is the actual physiological mechanism? What are the actual exposures in the workplace? Read More >

Posted on by Ray Wells, PhD68 Comments

Preventing Health Hazards from Metal Working Fluids

Metal working fluids are used to lubricate, cool, prevent corrosion of, and remove chips from tools and metal parts during grinding, cutting, or boring operations. There are several types of MWFs: straight or soluble oils, semisynthetic oils, and synthetic oils. Exposures to MWFs can occur through inhaling aerosols, skin contact with contaminated surfaces, and splashing of fluids. Employees who have been exposed to MWFs often report skin disorders (skin irritations, oil acne, and rashes); eye, nose, and throat irritation; and respiratory symptoms (cough, asthma, or other breathing problems). Read More >

Posted on by Administrator18 CommentsTags

Respiratory Health Consequences Resulting from the Collapse of the World Trade Center

As we mark seven years since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, guest blogger Dr. Prezant of the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program and Albert Einstein College of Medicine discusses the respiratory health consequences resulting from the collapse of the World Trade Center. Read More >

Posted on by Administrator10 CommentsTags