Has Asthma Become a Major Occupational Illness?
Occupational lung diseases can become permanent and disabling, including diseases like asthma. According to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 15 percent of asthma cases among the employed are work-related. To collect data, the CDC surveyed workers from 22 states.
In the 22 states surveyed, 205,755 adults participated in the study. CDC data estimates that 1.9 million adults in the 22 states surveyed developed asthma from poor work environments.
Workers allergic to specific substances or working around chemicals that can cause lung irritation might be at risk for developing asthma. For example, chlorine and ammonia are known to lead to a type of asthma called reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimate that 11 million workers in the U.S. are exposed to conditions that might lead to developing asthma.
Health care providers will ask workers suspected of having asthma what type of industry they work in and if symptoms are worse at work and better when away from work. For some workers, it might be possible to receive workers’ compensation or disability benefits if certain conditions are met.
Can I Receive Disability or Workers’ Comp for Asthma?
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), workers with asthma attacks occurring six times in a year and continuing despite treatment might be eligible for benefits. In addition, the SSA will ask to evaluate workers for one year to ensure they meet conditions of eligibility. Having an attorney can help workers with the process of applying for disability benefits.
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