Work-Related Asthma

Work-related asthma is more common than you think. This is asthma that is caused or worsened by breathing in chemical fumes, gases, dust or other substances on the job.

Anyone can get work-related asthma. There are hundreds of substances in the workplace, called triggers, known to cause or worsen asthma. By identifying and avoiding these triggers, a person can help their asthma. Workers, health professionals, and employers can work together to identify and control workplace triggers. Work-related asthma can be prevented.

Information for People with Asthma

Find out if your asthma is work related.

Explore tools to learn more about what's causing or worsening your asthma.

Information for Providers

Consider work-related asthma in all adults with new-onset or worsening asthma.

Explore resources to evaluate if your patient's asthma could be work-related.

  • Take an exposure history, a detailed medical history of your patient’s asthma symptoms, allergies, and the relationship of the symptoms to work (onset, timing, severity).
  • Consider referral to an occupational medicine specialist for assistance with determining work-relatedness, reducing exposures, and keeping your patient on the job.

Workplace Health and Safety Information

  • OSHA was created to assure safe and healthful working conditions by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance. Learn about your rights under OSHA law, and how to take action if you think something is wrong. You can also call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
  • Employees, union officials, or employers can request an evaluation of possible health hazards associated with a job or workplace from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NIOSH is the United States federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. Request an evaluation from NIOSH.
  • The NYS DOH Bureau of Occupational Health and Injury Prevention is staffed with industrial hygiene staff who can provide technical assistance and expertise in preventing and controlling workplace hazards.