Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the lungs and can make it difficult to breathe. Asthma may be caused or made worse by exposures in the workplace, such as cleaning chemicals, wheat flour, mold, wood dusts, spray polyurethane foam, and many others.
According to our data, an estimated 200,000 adults in Massachusetts have work-related asthma. Health care providers should ask all adult patients with new or worsening asthma about work and report suspected cases of work-related asthma to the Department of Public Health (DPH). We use data to characterize work-related asthma in the state and to target intervention efforts. CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) funds this project.