Occupational asthma caused by exposure to low-molecular-weight chemicals

Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2003 May;23(2):221-34, vi. doi: 10.1016/s0889-8561(02)00084-x.


Chemical agents cause approximately 40% of cases of occupational asthma (OA). Diagnosis of OA caused by chemicals relies on the demonstration of decrements in lung function at the workplace or during a controlled specific inhalation challenge to the suspect chemical agent. Evaluation of workers is accomplished best with a stepwise algorithmic approach and while the worker is symptomatic and still exposed at work. An early diagnosis followed by cessation of exposure can result in asthma remission and is likely to prevent progression to chronic disabling obstructive disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Asthma / therapy
  • Chemistry / classification
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Humans
  • Molecular Weight
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / immunology*
  • Occupational Diseases / therapy
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects
  • Risk