Diisocyanate and Non-Diisocyanate Sensitizer-Induced Occupational Asthma Frequency During 2003 to 2007 in Ontario, Canada

Objective: To investigate proportions and outcomes of isocyanate and other causes of occupational asthma (OA) claims in Ontario, Canada, 2003 to 2007.
Methods: New accepted workers' compensation claims for OA compensated by the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board were retrospectively reviewed.
Results: There were 112 allowed claims for OA—30 (26.8%) from diisocyanates (ISO) and 82 (73.2%) from other causes (non-diisocyanates [N-ISO]). The most common occupations for ISO OA were production workers (50%). The most common agents in the N-ISO group were flour (13%) and metal dusts/fumes (10%). At a median time of 8 months postdiagnosis, 55% of ISO and 56.4% of N-ISO workers, respectively, were unemployed.
Conclusions: Diisocyanates OA compensation claims in Ontario are recognized at a lower absolute number and proportion of all OA claims than those in earlier periods. More than half from all causes were unemployed at a median of 8 months postdiagnosis.

Source: Ribeiro, Marcos; Tarlo, Susan M.; Czyrka, Andréa; Vernich, Lee; Luce, Carol E.; Liss, Gary M. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: September 2014, Volume 56, Issue 9, p. 1001–1007

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