Occupational lung disease is a widespread problem. Occupational exposures appear to contribute to a significant proportion of adult onset asthma cases. With estimates that 15 per cent of all adult asthma is likely to be work-related.
The diagnosis of work-related asthma is complex; there are often discrepancies in diagnosis. Control of inhalation exposures is fairly well understood but many workplaces do not have adequate engineering or administrative controls, and instead rely on personal protective equipment for exposure control. However, compliance with personal protective equipment is generally low and we do not fully understand why.