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  3. Regional meeting held about occupational asthma

On Monday the 21st October, a meeting was held in Buxton on the topic of occupational asthma. The event was sponsored by BHOS (the Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection) and was split into several sessions.

The meeting took place at a building belonging to the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) and was free for those attending. Places were restricted, so everyone was encouraged to book their place in plenty of time.

Asthma can be caused by being in the presence of isocyanates, which are a group of chemicals to be found in everyday substances such as glues, paint and foam. Workers involved in the manufacturing or use of these products may require excellent PPE (person protective equipment) if they are to enjoy healthy lives.

Isocyanates are a particular problem for individuals employed within the car repair sector. Each year, approximately 50 people are obliged to retire prematurely because they have been exposed to isocyanates. These individuals pay a heavy price for being involved in the spraying of motor vehicles.

It is believed that biological monitoring may be able to diminish the impact of isocyanates in the future.

The meeting discussed several themes related to the issues of asthma and isocyanates, and topics included the legal aspects of the problem. The matter of healthcare also came up, with the issue of diagnosis being debated. Dr Sherwood Burge was the specialist who discussed diagnosis at the event, while expert Matthew Stanton explored the legal questions in the final session of the day.

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