Asthma and other lung diseases

Occupational lung disease

Much of IOMs research has been concerned with understanding the relationships between workplace exposures and lung diseases. Our original programme of research was in the British coal industry, investigating how much dust could be inhaled without harming the miner’s lungs, particularly causing coal workers pneumoconiosis or ‘black lung’. The research has been used to set the standards in coal mines around the world.

Since then we have also investigated cancers caused by exposure to asbestos, asthma from inhaling opiates and most recently the potential of nanoparticles to cause lung disease. We continue to investigate a wide range of dust and chemical exposures in relation to the risk of lung disease.

What our scientists do:

We have particular skills in measuring or modelling occupational exposures and linking these to the risk of lung disease in epidemiological studies. In a collaboration with scientists from the USA and Europe, we studied the risks for workers manufacturing ‘hard metal’, which is composed of tungsten carbide along with cobalt or nickel. This study, which involved over 30,000 workers from 17 manufacturing sites and found no evidence these exposures increased the risk of death from lung cancer or any other disease.

Our studies have included investigation of exposure to isocyanates, the main cause of occupational asthma in the UK. Our research showed that in some industry sectors the respirators being used to protect workers were ineffective in controlling exposure or that absorption of the isocyanate was entering the body through the skin rather than by inhalation. This work suggested better controls were needed to reduce the risk for workers.

The main sponsors for our research on lung disease have included large industries, the European Commission, UK and other national government agencies.

  • IOMworld Posted: 2 days ago
    Check out how IOM, with the support of @skillsdevscot, is helping our staff to realise their potential.… https://t.co/6wTYMaoGNr
  • IOMworld Posted: 8 days ago
    How occupational health and hygiene can work together. Check out our guest blog on how it can improve upon workplac… https://t.co/Nj9kw4tpFU
  • IOMworld Posted: 9 days ago
    As the #OH2022 conference has now come to an end, we wish to thank everyone for visiting our stand. We have enjoyed… https://t.co/iXrbt5Z0aj
  • IOMworld Posted: 10 days ago
    Workplace stress is a common issue. To support both employers & employees of small businesses to improve their work… https://t.co/vSZsA1kaBC
  • IOMworld Posted: 11 days ago
    4 ways occupational health has improved your life without you knowing. Check out our guest blog on how is it helpi… https://t.co/nX0Ar8PHf8
  • IOMworld Posted: 11 days ago
    The OH2022 Conference is now in full swing. Come and visit IOM on stand 3, where our experts will be delighted to a… https://t.co/dR6xMb6GLI
  • IOMworld Posted: 11 days ago
    Today! Join IOM’s Miranda Loh at 15:30 in the grand ballroom where she will be sharing research insights into occup… https://t.co/FbJb8vrBjV
  • IOMworld Posted: 12 days ago
    Don’t forget to visit IOM on stand 3 at the British Occupational Hygiene Society OH2022 Sustainable Workplace Healt… https://t.co/5AE31Qx229
  • IOMworld Posted: 16 days ago
    Clean air is important both inside and outside. Below are some of the potential pollutants that you could be breath… https://t.co/w2PhImyTrG
  • IOMworld Posted: 19 days ago
    RT @BuildingNews: The @IOMworld spoke to figures across the construction sector, concluding that better use of data and technology could be…