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Occupational asthma risk from cleaning products

12 | 02 | 13

By sds

A study suggests that one in six cases of adult-onset asthma among people in their mid-50s is caused by exposure to bleach and other hazardous chemicals.

Researchers at Thorax, a publication associated with the British Medical Journal (BMJ), studied 7,000 people and identified 18 high-risk jobs that could lead to occupational asthma. Of these, four involved cleaning as their primary task.

Those in general cleaning jobs, office cleaners, domestic helpers and care workers are among the groups at risk of developing an occupational illness as a result of the chemicals they are exposed to.

Hairdressers and laundry workers also featured on the list, two roles in which chemicals are also frequently used.

How are these problems caused?

Significantly, the research indicates that it is a person’s working environment that is the cause of these diseases, rather than simply the occupation itself.

This of course implies that an employer is capable of taking the necessary precautions to ensure their staff do not suffer prolonged exposure to these dangerous substances.

Lead researcher Dr Rebecca Ghosh noted that the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations have guidelines in place to prevent such an occurrence, and called occupational asthma “an entirely preventable disease”.

Making an occupational asthma claim

If you wish to make a claim for occupational asthma, or other industrial diseases such as asbestos exposure, skin disorders or deafness, you should be aware that your case is subject to strict time limits.

This is usually three years from the date of your diagnosis, so it is important that you get in touch with experienced personal injury solicitors as soon as possible once you are made aware of your condition.

If it can be established that your employer failed to provide you with a safe working environment, or with the correct protective equipment required for the use of certain chemicals, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our team today to ask about your claim.

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