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Specific Work Exacerbated Asthma Triggers and Jobs

Industries with a higher risk of work-exacerbated asthma

  • Services industry (cleaners, restaurants industry, fire fighters)
  • Wholesale and retail trade (manufacturing of plastics, furnishings, electronics)
  • Public administration (like a government office job)
  • Transportation and public utilities (like a bus driver or a city electrical worker)

Common Triggers

  • Mineral and inorganic dusts
  • Sprays
  • Fumes and gases (e.g. construction dust, paint fumes, cleaning triggers, irritant chemicals such as acids)

Specific WEA Triggers and Jobs

Work Exacerbated Asthma Triggers and Jobs

TriggersRelevant Jobs and Workplaces
DustConstruction
Renovation dust in offices
Mining, animal care workers changing cages (also can cause occupational asthma)
Bakeries - flour dust (also can cause occupational asthma)
Farms - grain dust (also can cause occupational asthma)
Fumes and Vapours
Welding
Medical radiation technologists (non-digital)
Cleaning products in various settings, such as carpet cleaning
Cleaning, general office cleaning
Laboratory workers
Health-care workers (cleaning products, construction/renovation dust, moulds, paint fumes, chemicals, second hand smoke, carpet glue fumes, ammonia products, other chemicals)
Swimming teachers (pools)
Paint fumes in industry or in renovation of offices
Foundries
Diesel exhaust fumes in shipping areas of industries, and in workers on highways, toll booths, and tunnels
Gases
Ozone - some swimming pools, bottling plants, photocopy machines, some paper mills
Ammonia - farming environments such as barns
Sulphur dioxide or hydrogen sulphide - paper mills
Chlorine or chlorones - paper mills, cleaning
Cold Environment
Outdoors in winter (snow removal, police controlling traffic, skaters, skating teachers)
Refrigeration settings (restaurant storage, etc.)
Smoke
Firefighters and other emergency workers
Industrial settings (accidental fires)
Second-hand cigarette smoke (should not be an exposure at work now)
Endotoxins
Farm workers, animal feed workers, laboratory, animal workers
Workers exposed to metal working fluids
Humidity and HeatIndustrial settings
Strenuous Exercise
Emergency response workers
Professional athletes or physical education teachers
*if you have a work exposure that you think is triggering your asthma but it is not listed above, please contact your health-care professional.