During the last decade, our data sources suggest there has been an overall decrease in occupational asthma. However, new cases continue to occur, particularly in jobs where there is exposure to isocyanates in spray paint or to flour dust.
The latest information shows:
- In 2014 there were an estimated 132 new cases of occupational asthma seen by chest physicians (THOR-SWORD). This is likely to be an underestimate.
- Other data sources suggest the total number of new cases each year in the wider category of work-related asthma (asthma caused or made worse by work) could be more than 10 times higher than this (LFS, THOR-GP).
- For the period 2012-2014 and the previous two 3-year periods, 'vehicle paint technicians' and 'bakers and flour confectioners' were the occupations with the highest rates of new cases per year (THOR-SWORD).
- The most common causes of occupational asthma continue to be isocyanates, and flour/grain (THOR-SWORD).
Occupational asthma in Great Britain, 1999-2014