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Industrial diseases

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Occupational disease lawyers

Home > Personal Injury > Industrial Diseases > Asthma caused by Isocyanates

Asthma caused by Isocyanates

What causes occupational asthma?

Isocyanates are a family of chemicals used extensively in the manufacture of polyurethane products such as paints, rigid foams and varnishes. These products are used in a number of processes, particularly paint spraying. Isocyanates are one of the main causes of occupational asthma but are just one of many irritants commonly used in the workplace that are known to cause asthma.

You may be able to make a claim for occupational asthma compensation if you have been exposed to isocyanates in the course of your work and you have developed asthma in your adult life. Ring Clear Answers on 0800 783 9019 to speak to a representative about your claim.

Industrial disease news

Clear Answers' lawyers deal with very many successful cases of all types of personal injury, specialising in industrial diseases such as asthma. We have teams of experts with a wealth of experience in your type of injury, waiting to help you claim your rightful compensation.
Please visit our Personal Injury News Section which is updated regularly.

More personal injury news stories

Please select one of the links below to find out more about isocyanates and whether Clear Answers can help you make a claim for industrial disease compensation.

What is asthma?

Hypersensitivity induced asthma develops when someone is exposed to an irritant over a prolonged period. This type of asthma accounts for approximately 90% of sufferers of occupational asthma.

Symptoms may not present for several weeks, or even months, following the first exposure. Sufferers may also be left sensitised to other chemicals found both inside and outside the workplace.

An asthma attack occurs when the irritant causes the muscles around the airways to contract, and the lining of the airways to become swollen and inflamed. The airways narrow and the flow of air into the lungs is restricted, making it difficult to breathe.

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Occupations at risk of exposure to isocyanates

Occupations such as spray painters, mechanics and workers involved in many manufacturing processes are known to have higher instances of occupational asthma.

A common source of isocyanates in the workplace is paint, and the paint mist generated by spray painting carried out in the production and repair of motor vehicles. According to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), vehicle paint sprayers are 80 times more likely than other workers to develop occupational asthma.

Other occupations which are known to increase the risk of a worker developing occupational asthma include those where workers are exposed to colophony, enzymes, flour or grain, laboratory animals, or latex.

Please seek medical advice as soon as you think you may have been affected by exposure in the workplace. Early detection and treatment can often result in a full recovery from occupational asthma. The condition can sometimes be reversed by medication but if this is not possible, the sufferer may be forced to seek an alternative occupation. In some severe cases a sufferer may be unable to continue to work at all.

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Symptoms of occupational asthma through exposure to isocyanates

The symptoms may in themselves appear minor at first, but failure to act upon them, and if exposure continues, may lead to the onset of asthma that may prove permanent and severe. Although treatable, there is no cure.

Early symptoms may include:

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Regulations to protect workers from developing asthma

Known as the COSHH Regulations, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, exist to protect workers from exposure to all types of hazardous substances in the workplace.

If an employer fails to carry out a risk assessment, or act on the results to remove or reduce the risk as much as possible, they can be found to have breached these regulations.

The HSE provides information on how to minimise the risks of exposure by the use of spray booths and other best practices in the workplace, Safety in motor vehicle repair.

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Making a claim for asthma caused by exposure to isocyanates

If you or your family have been affected by an industrial disease, and would like some advice about how to make a personal injury compensation claim, contact Clear Answers' solicitors on 0800 783 9019 or complete one of our online compensation claim forms. One of our representatives will contact you as soon as possible.

Clear Answers’ solicitors has a dedicated team of personal injury lawyers specialising in industrial diseases such as occupational asthma. They are able to offer expert legal advice with huge experience of work-related disease claims and will be happy to answer any questions you may have in plain English.

Strict time limits apply to making a claim for any type of personal injury, so please contact an experienced solicitor as soon as you think you may have a claim for compensation.

Please visit our section on information and advice for more details on making a personal injury compensation claim.

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