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It was first discovered in the bakers and seed handlers due to the flours and enzymes used.
Other risk-profession are veterinarians and stockbreeders (exposed to animal skin or urine), food handlers (milk, egg and shellfish proteins), chemical industries workers (plastics, detergent, pharmaceutical compounds), carpenters and sawmill workers (sawdust exposition).
A special subtype is the asthma caused by irritants or RADS (Reactive Airway Disfunction Syndrome), where a worker without respiratory disease history show symptoms 24 hrs after a massive exposition to irritants (fumes, gases or steams).
The correct diagnosis is of great importance in the case of work-related asthma, because the economical burden can be very high. Moreover, the worker can be relocated in another work place and becomes a healthy individual.
A clear example is latex-induced asthma, first described in the late 80s. Adequate measures were taken and nowadays it is a rare disease.
Dr.Barceló attendend the meeting “Asthma Place: New Challenges in the Diagnosis and Work-Related Asthma Treatment for Allergy Specialists” held in Madrid. More than 200 Allergy Specialists met up, and sessions on work-related asthma, irritant-induced asthma, bronchial hyperreactivity and immflamation biomarkers were held, as well as practical workshops and clinical cases.