Workplace Affects Asthma Risk

Published Online: Sunday, September 1, 2002

Entertainment industry workers?such as artists, designers, and photographers?have a 5-fold higher risk for work-related asthma, compared with workers in other fields, according to findings published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine (August 2002). This relationship may be linked with the chemicals used in art media, stage set production, theatrical makeup, and photographic chemicals.

The data, which come from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, also showed that workers in the lodging industry had a 4-fold increased risk for wheezing, possibly because of increased exposure to chemicals in cleaning products. Furthermore, workers in agricultural, forestry, and fishing industries were twice as likely to have asthma and wheezing. These risks were also 2-fold higher among electrical machinery, equipment, and supply workers than among other workers.

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