“Baker’s lung” refers to the high risk that bakers, grain millers, and similar professionals face of developing asthma due to regular exposure to certain workplace irritants. Baker’s lung is one of the most common forms of occupational asthma in the United States. Occupational asthma affects up to 25% of people with asthma throughout the country.
The substances that bakers and similar professionals are exposed to during their work day include flour, grains, bread additives, eggs or egg powder, yeast, nuts, and even other common allergens such as dust mites and mold. Taken together, these irritating substances create environments that make bakers one of the most high-risk professions for occupational asthma.
If you are a baker, you may need to work with your employer to ensure that your workplace is able to accommodate your health needs. Occupational asthma triggers can be controlled to reduce or prevent incidents of workplace asthma attacks in the following ways:
- Using tools such as protective equipment, as well as allergy-friendly ingredients such as low-dust flour, to prevent the creation and inhalation of irritating dust.
- Ensuring that your work area is properly ventilated.
- Keeping an inhaler present in the workplace and make sure your employer and coworkers know where it can be found.
- Ensuring that environmental checks are performed regularly to identify triggering substances in the workplace.
An important part of managing your asthma symptoms while working is ensuring that you’re receiving adequate medical care to control them. If you require a diagnosis or treatment, you can schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center by calling (718) 206-7001 now.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.