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Federal Study Finds 1.4 Million Suffer Workplace Asthma

May 24, 2012 — According to a new federal study, 9% of all asthma cases in the U.S. are caused or worsened by workplace or occupational exposure. This means that as many as 1.4 million people are affected by workplace asthma every year. Researchers were concerned because on-the-job asthma is often preventable. By law, employers must provide their employees with a reasonably safe working environment. This includes providing safety equipment. If they fail to do so, they could be financially liable if an injured employee files a workplace asthma lawsuit.

The federal study, which was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and published in the May 25 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found varying levels of workplace asthma throughout the U.S.

Researchers found that older workers in certain ethnic or minority groups had the highest risk of workplace asthma. Approximately 12.7% of workers between the ages of 45 and 64 had were affected, versus just 7% of workers between 18 and 44 years of age. Furthermore, the racial differences were 12.5% for blacks, 10.5% for Hispanics, and 8.2% for whites. The data was collected between 2006 and 2009. Rates of workplace asthma ranged from 4.8% in Arizona to over 14% in Florida.

The CDC researchers were concerned that, despite the fact that workplace asthma is widespread, it is an under-recognized illness. Employers could do a better job of protecting their employees from preventable asthma. It is possible that better awareness of the problem, understanding the risk factors that cause or exacerbate asthma, and expanded workplace surveillance could reduce the risk.

The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that up to 11 million workers are exposed to agents that are known to cause asthma, and up to 15% of disabling cases of asthma are caused by occupational exposure to toxic substances. Many states have adopted standards and enforcement policies against employers who fail to adequately protect their employees from occupational hazards.

Do I have a Workplace Asthma Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting occupational and workplace asthma induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by asthma in the workplace, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Asthma Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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