CDC Reports Asthma In The Workplace Can Be Deadly


Anyone who deals with it on a daily basis will attest that Asthma is a terrible condition to deal with. Sadly, for some, dealing with this condition at work can be worse than home and sometimes it is even fatal. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a report that details 11 to 21 percent of all asthma related deaths among 15 to 64-years old were due to exposures at work.


Using data from the National Vital Statistic System, International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision, the 2000 U.S. Census and other occupation and industry data from 1999 to 2012, they found that:

  • Over 33,000 (19.011 women and 14,296 men) workers died from asthma.

  • ​Construction for Men and Healthcare for women reported the most asthma-related deaths.

  • The highest risk groups were workers aged 55-64, females, African-Americans, non-Hispanic or Latino.


For men in construction, fumes from welding as well as paints were the biggest factors which cause asthma. For females in the health care system, cleaners, antibiotics, disinfectants were key causes of asthma.


“Pharmaceutical treatment of asthma related to occupational exposures is similar to that for asthma that is not work-related,” states the report. “Early identification and elimination of exposures is the preferred means of primary prevention to reduce asthma related to occupational exposures. However, reduction of exposure might be considered when elimination of exposures is not possible.”


More education and identification of workplace exposures are necessary moving forward. If someone has asthma, early detection and treatment are key on making sure that those employees stay safe, especially in industries with higher mortality rates.


The report mentioned above was published on January 19th, 2018 and in The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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