Occupational asthma (OA) has emerged as the commonest occupational lung disease in
developed countries and the second commonest in developing countries. Nearly 9-15% of the global
adult asthma is occupation associated. However, this is an underestimation as large proportion of
occupational asthma remains unidentified in developing world. The economic burden of OA is
enormous but the disease is potentially preventable. The western models of documenting and
legislation implementation models have provided a scaffold to curb various occupation morbidities of
the world. Many government and non-government bodies along pertinent political inclination have
been instrumental in the risk factor identification and sensitizer dose assessment for OA in the
developed countries, and also ensuring that patients are adequately treated and compensated by the employers, with
execution of good ergonomic practices in work places. The characteristic of OA epidemiology in developing world is
contrary to the poor diagnosis, inappropriate treatment and inadequate compensation, with lack of political will. This
mandates necessity of learning from developed country occupational disease models context to understanding of OA,
along with reliable and feasible diagnostics and interventions that will have the potential to minimize the health hazards
from the exposures at workplace environments in developing countries.
Keywords: Occupational asthma, developing countries, work-aggravated asthma.
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