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How common is occupational asthma?
The Royal College of Physicians estimates that one in six cases of asthma in people of working age is either caused or made worse by work.
The official Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates that, in 2015/16, about 36,000 people who had worked in the last year, and 141,000 who had ever worked, currently have ‘breathing or lung problems’ they thought were caused or made worse by work. The LFS suggests that the overall prevalence and incidence of work-related breathing and lung problems have both been relatively constant over the last 10 years.
Occupational asthma is the most commonly reported lung disease in Great Britain. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), it costs society up to £1.1 billion over 10 years The HSE commissioned report The true cost of occupational asthma in Great Britain outlines the cost of occupational asthma in Great Britain.