Prevention and regulatory aspects of exposure to asthmagens in the workplace

  • Henrik Nordman
Part of the Progress in Inflammation Research book series (PIR)


The consequences of occupational asthma (OA) in terms of health, quality of life and costs incurred for the individual as well as society are considerable and make prevention worthwhile. The majority of cases are caused by comparatively few major asthmagens, such as flour dust, animal epithelium, natural rubber latex, and diisocyanates. A substantial reduction of these exposures is a realistic objective. It is important that preventive strategies are undertaken as concerted actions by all actors involved, i.e. regulatory authorities, branch organisations and worker unions. However, many asthmagens only cause occasional cases. Understandably, the prevention of these will rarely be highly prioritised. Aggravation of any asthma by non-specific exposures at work (work-exacerbated asthma, WEA) has turned out to be as important as OA. The costs incurred by WEA as well as the effects on quality of life equal or surpass those of OA. So far, our understanding of the nature of WEA as compared with OA is poor and far too meagre for scientifically based preventive strategies. Future research needs to focus on practically all aspects of WEA.


Allergy Clin Immunol Occupational Disease Occupational Asthma Natural Rubber Latex Detergent Industry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser / Springer Basel 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrik Nordman
    • 1
  1. 1.Finnish Institute of Occupational HealthHelsinkiFinland

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