Work-Related Asthma

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Work-Related Asthma Case Definition

N.J.A.C. 8:58-1.5, 1.6, 1.7 requires physicians, physician assistants, and advanced practice nurses to report to the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) any confirmed or suspected case of work-related asthma including:

  • New-onset asthma - resulting from exposure in the workplace to sensitizers or irritants.
  • Work-aggravated asthma - with a prior history of symptomatic or treated asthma who experience an increase in symptoms and/or an increase in the use of asthma medications within two years of entering a new workplace setting, or from exposure to new chemicals or agents in an existing workplace.
  • Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS) - new-onset asthma that develops within 24 hours following a single, high-level exposure to inhaled irritants where the patient continues to be symptomatic for at least three months. Common causes include smoke inhalation and accidental releases of chemical irritants.

For this purpose, physicians, physician assistants, and advanced practice nurses are to use the following case definitions to report cases to the NJDOH:

  • Possible work-related asthma: symptoms of asthma and association between symptoms of asthma and work
  • Probable work-related asthma: diagnosis of asthma and association between symptoms of asthma and work
  • Confirmed work-related asthma: diagnosis of asthma and objective evidence of work-relatedness

For a reporting form (OCC-31), download preferred format: PDF [24K] or Microsoft Word Document [64K].

For more information on diagnosis, please refer to NJDOH Guidelines “Work-Related Asthma Recognition, Diagnosis, and Reporting”: download [pdf 2.5mb].