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Prevention of occupational asthma in Ontario

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Abstract:

Occupational asthma continues to be one of the most common occupational lung diseases in industrialized areas. Primary and secondary preventive measures have been well described, but there are relatively few studies to support the effectiveness of such measures, although the benefits of tertiary measures such as early recognition and removal from further exposure to a causative sensitizing agent are well recognized. In Ontario, a combined approach of preventive measures has shown effectiveness in allergy and asthma from occupational exposure to natural rubber latex. In addition, a program to reduce exposure to diisocyanates and introduce medical surveillance was associated with earlier diagnosis and fewer cases in a compensation population. However there remain barriers to the early diagnosis of occupational asthma in Ontario, especially in workers of lower education and lower income. In addition, there is recognized need for further physician education to allow early suspicion and diagnosis of occupational asthma.

L’asthme professionnel demeure l’une des pneumopathies les plus fréquentes dans les régions industrialisées. Les mesures de prévention primaires et secondaires ont été décrites en détail, mais il existe relativement peu d’études pour appuyer leur efficacité, quoique les bienfaits de mesures tertiaires comme la détection et le retrait précoces de l’exposition à une substance sensibilisante soient largement reconnus. En Ontario, une approche combinée de mesures préventives de l’allergie et de l’asthme causés par une exposition au latex de caoutchouc naturel en milieu de travail s’est révélée efficace. De plus, un programme consistant à limiter l’exposition aux diisocyanates et à instaurer une surveillance médicale a été associé à un diagnostic plus précoce et à une diminution des cas dans une population utilisant les services d’indemnisation. Toutefois, il existe encore des barrières au diagnostic précoce de l’asthme professionnel en Ontario, en particulier chez les travailleurs peu scolarisés et à faible revenu. On reconnaît la nécessité d’accroître la formation des médecins en matière de suspicion et de diagnostic précoces de l’asthme professionnel.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports current research in all aspects of physiology, nutrition, pharmacology, and toxicology, contributed by recognized experts and scientists. It publishes symposium reviews and award lectures and occasionally dedicates entire issues or portions of issues to subjects of special interest to its international readership.
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