Asthma Caused By Occupational Exposure

CONTAMINANT: ASTHMA CAUSED BY OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE
ORIGIN: Moldex Technical Services Department
REVIEWED/UPDATED: July 2020

Overview

Asthma is a condition characterized by breathing difficulty, chest tightness, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. The condition can be serious and sometimes even fatal. While many asthma sufferers are born with the condition, asthma can be occupationally-induced. Millions of workers in a wide range of industries and occupations are potentially exposed to hundreds of organic and inorganic substances associated with occupationally-induced asthma.

Some of these substances cause sensitization, meaning only minor subsequent exposure will cause an asthmatic condition. Other substances are non-sensitizing and require a full dose for an asthmatic condition to result. Only a few of these substances have OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) and/or specific OSHA standards.

Although respiratory protection may be used to help prevent occupationally-induced asthma, anyone who has an asthmatic condition should seek medical advice before using any respiratory devices.

Moldex® Solution

Moldex® respirators can reduce exposure to some, but not all asthma-causing contaminants. Under certain conditions, Moldex® respirators may be used for protection against the following contaminants:

  • For wood dusts and grains, a Moldex® disposable respirator (N Series).
  • For metals and highly toxic asthma-causing substances, the Moldex® 8000 series with 8940, 8990 or the 7000 series with 7940 or 7990 as well as the 2730N100 or 2360P100 model.
  • For chemical substances such as chlorine or sulfur dioxide, the Moldex® 7000, 8000 or 9000 series with appropriate chemical cartridge.

Affected Industries

Anywhere occupational asthma is prevalent:
Healthcare
Work with red cedar
Animal handling
Laboratory work
Grain handling industries
Bakeries
Snow crab and egg processing
Detergent manufacturing containing biological enzymes
Work with paint and adhesives
Work with metal salts
Jewelry making
Nickel plating
Tanning
Soldering

WARNING: The information contained in this Tech Brief is dated and was accurate to the best of Moldex’s knowledge, on the date above. It is not meant to be comprehensive, nor is it intended to be used in place of the warning/use instructions that accompany Moldex respirators. Outside of the USA, check with all applicable and local government regulations.

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