South Pasadena, CA, January 17th, 2020
This past November, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released a new fact sheet as part of the agency’s Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program (WRAPP). Work-Related Asthma: Findings from Statewide Tracking provides information about the debilitating condition and data the program has uncovered during the past 23 years.
The document describes work-related asthma (WRA), also sometimes referred to as occupational asthma, in the following terms:
If asthma is caused or made worse by chemicals or substances at work, it is called “work-related asthma.” When people who don’t have asthma get it from their work, it is called “new-onset” WRA. If people already have asthma before they start their job and their job makes it worse, it is called “work-aggravated” WRA. The sooner a workplace protects a person from the problem substances at work, the better the chance of improving the person’s asthma.
It also shares the following about the impact of work-related asthma on employees who have the condition based on WRAPP findings:
- Almost one-third (32%) had to leave their job because of their WRA.
- 41% reported days in the last year when they couldn’t work or do their usual activities.
- More than half (61%) had been to an emergency room since their breathing problems started at work.
- One out of every seven (15%) had to be in the hospital overnight since their breathing problems began at work.
- Most (85%) had to take either new asthma medicine or more of their medicine because of their WRA.
- More than half (55%) still had breathing problems more than a year later.
- More than half (54%) knew other people at work who had similar breathing problems.
“This information reinforces what we know about work-related asthma and the importance of preventing exposure to airborne pollutants such as mold, smoke, dust and chemicals,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Workers don’t even have to be directly involved with these substances to be impacted as the fact sheet reports that 34% of people with WRA problems were simply nearby others at work that were using a substance or chemical.”
LA Testing offers a wide range of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) testing services to identify both chemical and microbial pollutants. To learn more about this or other indoor air quality, environmental, occupational, health and safety testing services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. For access to IEQ test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: : AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro, San Diego and Ontario.