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Occupational Allergens

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Published on Sep 2, 2015

Could you be allergic to work? The question may sound odd and like an excuse to stay home, but for countless employees in a wide range of professions, it just might be the case.

An occupational allergy occurs when workers are exposed to substance(s) that cause them to have an allergic reaction. It could be due to environmental allergens already in the workplace, such as mold in a water damaged office building, or due to activities that expose workers to allergens from materials they come into contact with because of their profession.

These reactions can be mild or severe, and in some extreme circumstances could be life threatening. Reactions may occur when the allergen comes in contact with the worker through common exposure routes such as skin contact, inhalation or ingestion.

Workers exposed to an allergen they are sensitive to will often have a reaction within a short time period, but this is not always the case and the reaction may be delayed. Repeated exposures to the allergen may also increase sensitivity. In addition, workers who did not previously show symptoms of an allergic reaction to a substance may develop an allergy from exposure to it over time. Long-term exposure to allergens can even result in asthma in some people.

There are numerous known occupational allergens that workers can be exposed to in the work environment. In fact, occupational allergens may be present in everything from a high rise office building or hospital to a nail salon, school, factory, construction site or even a bakery.




Some of the more common environmental allergens workers may be exposed to include everything from mold, pollen, latex and dust mites to allergens associated with pets and exposure to cockroaches and rodents. While many people are aware of these allergens, there are also many others that people may not readily recognize. They include substances such as formaldehyde; isocyanates; chromium, nickel and cobalt; and wood and floor dusts to name just a few.

Fortunately, there are ways to test for most known allergens in the workplace and professionals who specialize in offering environmental allergen testing and consulting services to identify and resolve exposure risks.

These are just a few things to know about occupational allergens and indoor environmental quality. To learn more about this or other environmental, indoor air quality, occupational, health or safety issues, please visit the websites shown below.

Clark Seif Clark http://www.csceng.com
EMSL Analytical, Inc. http://www.emsl.com
Indoor Environmental Consultants, Inc. http://www.iecinc.net
LA Testing http://www.latesting.com
Zimmetry Environmental http://www.zimmetry.com
Healthy Indoors Magazine http://www.iaq.net
Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters http://HudsonDouglasPublicAdjusters.com

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