Is your job damaging the health of your lungs? Take a look at the 10 riskiest jobs for your lungs today…
Did you know that 545 million people around the world have chronic pulmonary disease? One of the main reasons is that types of jobs that they work.
You might have thought that stopping smoking is the only thing that you need to do to lower the risk of getting lung cancer. Unfortunately, there are other risks to be aware of.
Every day we take thousands of breaths, our lungs pushing oxygen to every organ in our bodies so we can function. As the health of our lungs is so critical to our wellbeing, it’s surprising how many workplaces are considered dangerous for our lungs.
Breathing in chemicals, dust, fibbers, smoke, and much more can all lead to difficulties breathing. In some instances workers have even been known to make occupational asthma compensation claims after discovering damage to this vital organ.
Are there some jobs that are riskier than others? We have a list of the most dangerous occupations in general. You will want to know specifically which jobs are worst when it comes to lung disease risks. Here are 10 of the riskiest jobs to do when it considering the likelihood of lung damage…
When it comes to the health of your lungs one of the riskiest places to work is in construction. The huge amount of dust caused by both renovations and demolition within construction puts workers lungs at risk.
These work conditions can lead to serious conditions like mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, as well as asthma and other breathing difficulties.
In order to reduce the risk of lung damage when working in construction, it’s important to wear the proper safety equipment, especially where smoke, spray-in-place insulation and dust is concerned.
Older buildings in particular can cause a significant amount of damage to the lungs due to the materials that were used to construct them.
When working in a factory or other form of manufacturing the air is often filled gases, chemicals and dust. When working in these conditions all day this is likely to put workers lungs at risk.
It’s important to take steps to reduce the amount of damage done by these substances in the air, both individually and at a company level.
Another workplace that can leads to breathing difficulties are jobs within agriculture. Exposure to large quantities of endotoxins, ammonia, and hydrogen sulphide, from spending a lot of time around manure pits and bacteria growth, can cause significant damage to the lungs.
Additionally, dust and mould from grain can cause organic dust toxic symptoms and even hypersensitivity pneumonitis. These disorders can be incredibly damaging are known to cause farmers to suffer breathing difficulties coughs and tightness in the chest.
These issues are often made worse by modern farming techniques where many animals are kept in close quarters.
Surprisingly breathing difficulties are commonplace within the healthcare services. It has been discovered that many workers within this industry have experience asthmatic reactions to a powder residue that is found in latex gloves.
As these gloves are so vital within the hospital it’s difficult to prevent exposure to these chemicals unless the hospital switches to latex-free synthetic gloves.
You may not expect to experience breathing difficulties whilst baking but studies have shown that bakers who are regularly exposed to flower dust are much more likely to experience asthmatic difficulties.
This can often develop as an allergic reaction to allergens from bugs that can be found within flower, as well as the enzymes that are included to change the consistency of the dough.
Because of this, a baker’s kitchen is often considered one of the most asthma provoking workplaces. In order to minimise the risk in this environment its essential that there is proper ventilation in place.
Due to high exposure to cleaning supplies housekeeping and other jobs that uses these chemicals regularly are at high risk of developing breathing difficulties.
Disinfectants in particular are incredibly likely to cause lung damage and asthma if the proper precautions are not taken. For instance, only using disinfectants in well ventilated areas and wearing the proper protection equipment.
Additionally, whenever using a cleaning product, ensure you have read the label carefully and are following all the guidelines provided. This will help to minimis risks when regularly working with these chemicals in jobs like housekeeping.
Within the textiles industry worker breath in many different particles from materials like cotton.
This constant exposure can cause things like byssinosis, a lung disease that is particularly common for workers handling upholstery and clothes.
It is recommended that all workers in these environments should wear masks to minimise the amount of particles they are inhaling each day.
Some people get their hair cut once a month, others can go a full year without getting a trim, however a hairdresser will spend every day working with hair.
Spending so much time inhaling colouring agents and other hair products can have a detrimental impact on the lungs and cause severe asthma. Formaldehyde an ingredient in many products used to straighten hair and is known to irritate the lungs as well as the eyes, throat, and nose.
To minimise the risk of lung damage it’s important to understand the products being used within the workplace and how they may be impacting the health of the workers.
9. Auto Repairs and Body Spray Painting
Very similar to manufacturing working in auto repairs and body spray painting can have a massive effect on the health of your lungs.
Occupational asthma is a common side effect of working with chemicals like isocyanate and polyurethane, both products of spray on paint. In addition to this when working in auto repair you are exposed to more dust, fuels, exhausts and solvents. All of which can cause lung irritation and damage if exposure is consistent.
In this sort of work place its essential that employees wear the proper safety equipment, especially respirators.
A firefighter is regularly exposed to particles that can cause sever lung damage. Including smoke, burning chemicals, plastics, etc.
Even if after a fire has been extinguished these toxins are still putting fire fighters at risk as they ensure the fire wont restart and look for causes among debris.
Although many fire fighters do wear protective equipment, it’s important that every possible step is taken to reduce the effects of these substance on the lungs.
The riskiest job for your lungs…
There are many jobs that pose a risk to the health of your lungs. From dust, smoke, and gasses, to flour, latex gloves, and colouring agents, there are no shortage of dangers.
To avoid suffering from asthma, lung cancer and many other lung diseases, it’s important to be vigilant. Always wear the proper protection at your workplace and be sure to familiarise yourself with the potential threats.
For instance, if you are regularly using chemicals, check to see if they could cause damage to the lungs and if so, find a safer alternative, ensure your workplace is well ventilated, and check you have all the equipment you may need to keep you safe.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional. Be sure to consult your doctor if you’re seeking advice about breathing difficulties or lung damages in a workplace. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.