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9% of Adults with Asthma Say It's Work Related

(Image credit: Vupulepe/

Workplace environments continue to be blamed for causing or worsening cases of asthma, according to the latest survey of U.S. workers by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 9 percent of adults who have asthma reported having work-related asthma, the CDC found from its telephone survey, which was conducted in 2006-09 and included information from 38 states and the District of Columbia. This would mean that 1.4 million people in the U.S. have work-related asthma.  

Florida had the highest proportion of adults with work-related asthma (14.1 percent), and Arizona the lowest (4.8 percent), according to the CDC, which will publish the results tomorrow (May 25) in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Black workers were found to be disproportionately affected, with 12.5 percent saying their asthma was work-related, compared with 8.2 percent of white workers. People ages 45 to 64 were the most likely to report suffering from the condition.

Work-related asthma is a preventable but often undiagnosed condition, the CDC says. It calls for an expanded effort to collect information on the condition so researchers can learn more about its triggers and how to prevent it. For instance, in years past, reducing the amount of powder in latex gloves led to a reduction of work-related asthma in the health care industry, the CDC says.

The report is based on a telephone survey of about 38,300 adults who have asthma. Because not all states were included in the survey, and because only landlines were used, the estimates may not be representative of the U.S. population as a whole, the CDC said.

Pass it on: More should be done to prevent work-related asthma in the United States, the CDC says.

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Live Science Staff
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