Is the incidence of occupational asthma reduced by respiratory protective equipment?

* 3 The use of respiratory protective equipment reduces the incidence of, but does not completely prevent, occupational asthma.


Cullen MR, Redlich CA, Beckett WS, Weltmann B, Sparer J, Jackson G, Ruff T, Rubinstein E, Holden W , Feasibility study of respiratory questionnaire and peak flow recordings in autobody shop workers exposed to isocyanate-containing spray paint: observations and limitations , Occup Med (London) , 1996 ; 46 : 197-204

Grammer LC, Harris KE, Yarnold PR , Effect of respiratory protective devices on development of antibody and occupational asthma to an acid anhydride , Chest , 2002 ; 121 : 1317-1322

Petsonk EL, Wang ML, Lewis DM et al , Asthma-like symptoms in wood product plant workers exposed to methylene diphenyl di-isocyanate , Chest , 2000 ; 118 : 183-193

Principal reccomendations

This statement supports the following principal reccomendations

View the principal reccomendations

Employers and their health and safety personnel should ensure that when respiratory protective equipment is worn, the appropriate type is used and maintained, fit testing is performed and workers understand how to wear, remove and replace their respiratory protective equipment.

Employers should implement programmes to prevent (i.e. reduce the incidence) of occupational asthma by removing or reducing exposure to its causes through elimination or substitution and where this is not possible, by effective control of exposure.

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