The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

3056.0: Monday, November 11, 2002 - 9:24 AM

Abstract #48903

Integrating work-related asthma into state-based asthma planning

Elise Pechter, MPH, CIH, Letitia Davis, ScD, Beatriz Pazos, MPH, and Rebecca Ray, MPH. Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 250 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02108, (617) 624-5626,

Federal and state public health agencies are working to address the 20-year rise in asthma morbidity and mortality. These efforts have focused primarily on childhood asthma, home triggers, and medical management. Asthma, a disease with multiple etiologies, requires a multifactorial approach. The NIOSH funded SENSOR work-related asthma program in Massachusetts facilitated state based planning that included attention to work-related asthma (WRA) and promoted a comprehensive multifaceted approach to prevention. Integrating occupational health into mainstream public health contributes to asthma prevention in two main ways: access and convergence. A focus on work-related causes of asthma can enhance access to high-risk populations, including people of color and women, who may face disproportionate exposure to asthma triggers in hazardous jobs. Prevention activities that reflect convergence protect the public while directly impacting worker health. This presentation will highlight examples of access and convergence in state-based asthma prevention: (1) investigation of WRA cases among teachers that prompted school inspections; (2) Massachusetts Department of Public Health collaborations to reduce the use of latex in health care, food handling, schools and childcare; (3) proposed campaigns to address asthmagens in cleaning products and cosmetology shops. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health SENSOR program for work-related asthma has provided an opportunity for integration of work-related asthma as an integral part of the Massachusetts Asthma Planning Group that could be a model for other states.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to

Keywords: Asthma, Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Occupational Asthma

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA