Occupational Exposures and Asthma Among Nursing Professionals

Source: A. A. Arif, G. L. Delclos, C. Serra, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2008
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From the abstract:
A study published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests that nurses and other health care professionals who are frequently exposed to hospital cleaning products and disinfectants are at greater risk of developing asthma, HealthDay News reports. To assess the impact of chemical exposure on workers’ health, a team led by researchers from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte surveyed 3,650 Texas health care professionals, including 941 nurses. According to the results, health care workers with frequent exposure to cleaning products were 72 percent more likely than their colleagues to be diagnosed with asthma since starting their job and 57 percent more likely to report experiencing asthma symptoms. Specifically, health care workers who were frequently exposed to glue and solvents were 51 percent more likely to report asthma-like symptoms, while nurses who regularly cleaned medical instruments were 67 percent more likely to be diagnosed with asthma. In addition, nurses who used powdered latex gloves before the year 2000 were 6 percent more likely to have newly diagnosed asthma. Based on the findings, the researchers recommend substituting existing cleaning agents for environmentally-friendly chemicals. They also suggest that health care workers implement appropriate personal care protection to minimize exposure to harmful chemicals.

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