What causes occupational asthma?

Half of all cases of occupational asthma are caused by the following substances:

  • isocyanates (chemicals found in 2-pack spray paints, etc.);
  • flour dust;
  • grain dust;
  • cutting oils and coolants;
  • glutaraldehyde (a disinfectant mainly used in the healthcare sector);
  • wood dust;
  • natural rubber latex;
  • solder/colophony (colophony, also called rosin, is used in some types of solder flux);
  • laboratory animals; and
  • resins and glues.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a list of substances that can cause asthma.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.