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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3211.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 1:10 PM

Abstract #118484

Work-related asthma in the educational services industry-California, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey, 1993-2000

JM Mazurek, MD, MS1, MS Filios, Rn, ScM1, R. Willis, MS1, Donald P. Schill, MS, CIH2, Kenneth D. Rosenman, MD3, Letitia K. Davis, ScD4, Elise Pechter, MPH, CIH4, Katherine McGreevy, phD2, Jennifer Flattery, MPH5, and Mary Jo Reilly, MS3. (1) Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, Surveillance Branch, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Rd, Morgantown, WV 26505, 304 285 5983, acq8@cdc.gov, (2) Occupational Health Surveillance Program, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, P.O. Box 360, John Fitch Plaza, Trenton, NJ 08625, (3) Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Medicine, Michigan State University, 117 West Fee Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824, (4) Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 250 Washgington Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02108-4619, (5) Occupational Health Branch, California Department of Health Services, 1515 Clay Street, Suite 1901, Oakland, CA 94612

We examined 2,942 work-related asthma (WRA) cases identified by California, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey during 19932000 to characterize potential exposures and occupations within the educational services industry (Standard Industrial Classification = 82). A total of 265 (9%) WRA cases in the educational services industry were identified. Of those with sufficient information, using a standard case definition and classification scheme, 182 (69%) cases were classified as new-onset and 82 (31%) as work-aggravated. Twenty (8%) were classified as reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS) and 162 (61%) as occupational asthma. For 145 (55%) cases the exposure has not been documented as a known allergen. The largest occupational group was teachers and teachers' aides (54%), followed by administrative staff (16%), and janitors, cleaners, and housekeepers (12%). Reports from elementary and secondary schools accounted for nearly 75% of all cases. The most frequently reported agents were indoor air pollutants (28%), cleaning products (19%), mold (18%), and mineral and inorganic dusts (18%). The number of WRA cases among teachers and reported from elementary and secondary schools indicate that asthma in educational settings is an occupational health problem. Workers in this industry are primarily public sector employees, and in half of the states Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provisions do not apply. Initiatives addressing asthma in schools should include employees. The identification, control, and/or elimination of exposures are important for the protection of staff and students alike.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Surveillance, Indoor Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

Occupational Respiratory Disease: Surveillance and Solutions

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA