Study: Work-Related Asthma in the Educational Services Industry

In a study published in the January 2008 edition of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, researchers characterized work-related asthma (WRA) cases working in the educational services industry identified by state-based occupational disease surveillance systems. The researchers examined nearly 3,000 cases of work related asthma reported from 1993 to 2000 in four states: California, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey. A total of 9% of WRA cases were employed in the educational services industry and of these, 69% of cases were classified as new-onset asthma and 31% as work-aggravated asthma. Of the new-onset asthma cases, 61% were occupational asthma and the most frequently reported occupation was teachers and teachers’ aides (54%). The most frequently reported agents were indoor air pollutants (28%), unspecified mold (16%), dusts (14%), and cleaning products (7%). The authors concluded that asthma within the educational services industry is an occupational health problem and that the identification, elimination, and/or control of respiratory hazards are important factors for the protection of staff and students.

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Asthma and Ed Svcs.pdf (155 KB)