Occupation has been recognised as a cause of respiratory disease for many centuries, and this link is a constantly evolving field as workplaces and exposures change, and new manufacturing processes and materials are introduced. With enhanced communication and reporting schemes, it has become easier to identify new causes and outbreaks of disease. Whilst asthma and COPD remain common in both the general population and the workplace, it is essential to ensure that developments in the less common diseases are not overlooked. This is especially so as whilst these rarer diseases are featured in the literature, they do not occur often in reporting schemes, suggesting that they may be under-recognised clinically. The aim of this report is to review the current evidence base in relation to the less well known occupational lung disorders, specifically to identify any new or emerging causes of occupational respiratory disease.
This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.
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