Tracking Work-Related Asthma
Background and Purpose
Asthma has increased in the U.S. and in California in the last decade. It is estimated that workplace exposures are responsible for 15-30% of all new asthma cases among adults in the U.S. Work-related asthma includes new cases caused by exposures at work, as well as asthma that is made worse by conditions at work. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provides funding to California, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York to track work-related asthma. NIOSH and the five funded states work together to combine data and maximize prevention efforts.
The California Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program (WRAPP) aims to identify industries, occupations and exposures that put workers at risk for work-related asthma. By identifying and understanding the risk factors, we can find new ways to help employers and workers prevent work-related asthma.
To achieve these goals, the California Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program:
- Collects information using data from healthcare providers, hospitals, and workers’ compensation to identify cases and characterize exposures;
- Attempts to interview each case identified to gather more information and offer help and resources;
- Carries out worksite investigations to identify risk factors and make recommendations for prevention;
- Distributes findings, recommendations, and health education materials to workers, employers and many other audiences;
- Leads the Cleaning for Asthma-Safe Schools (CLASS) project to assist schools to adopt safer cleaning methods and products.