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Open Access Non-malignant occupational respiratory diseases and climate change

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BACKGROUND: Respiratory diseases of infectious, allergic, neoplastic or degenerative origin are due to the interaction of environmental and occupational risk factors, individual susceptibility and other co-factors and comorbidities. Asthma and other respiratory pathologies can be worsened by climate change and exposure to other agents in occupational environments.

METHODS: PubMed and Scopus, and several websites on public and occupational health were queried to find publications and documents on work-related respiratory diseases, asthma, rhinitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumoconiosis and allergic alveolitis in association with climate change.

RESULTS: Most of the retrieved articles concerned asthma (75 in Scopus), while the other topics were less frequently covered in the scientific literature, with a maximum of 29 papers for rhinitis and 23 for COPD. The most important terms highlighted by the word clouds were ‘health’, ‘air’, ‘pollution’, and, only for asthma and rhinitis, ‘pollen’ and ‘allergic/allergy’. Website data on public and occupational health, and climate change were reported.

CONCLUSIONS: Assessment and management of respiratory diseases that recognise occupational exposures should be improved, and more research into integrated approaches should be favoured. Health surveillance practices for workers exposed to agents that cause respiratory diseases should be implemented. The development of biomarkers of exposure, effect and susceptibility needs further study.

Keywords: air pollution; global warming; indoor settings; outdoor working; work-related respiratory diseases

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene, Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority, Monte Porzio Catone, Rome 2: Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene, Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority, Monte Porzio Catone, Rome, Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy 3: Institut Desbrest of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Montpellier and Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale, Department of Allergic and Respiratory Disease, Montpellier University Hospital, Montpellier, France

Publication date: November 1, 2023

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