Seventy-nine patients attending hospital for follow-up of occupational asthma were interviewed, on average 6 years after asthma developed. Although 90% thought their symptoms had improved, 10% had required a hospital admission (apart from for investigation), 72% still took medication and most reported symptoms in the last 3 months. One-third were currently unemployed and 40-73% reported limitation in everyday activities, such as housework or shopping. Symptoms on waking were used as an index of troublesome asthma. Those 31 in whom this occurred at least once a week reported limitation in everyday activities significantly more commonly than others. This relation was more marked in men than women. Limitation in everyday activities was, however, more frequently reported by women than men, who were also more likely than men to be unemployed, suggesting that factors other than impairment of function also contribute to handicap in occupational asthma.