Occupational asthma is a lung disorder in which substances found in the workplace cause the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow. This leads to attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. Poland is in the group of countries with moderate prevalence of asthma (5.4 %). Poland registers 800 cases each year. Occupations most frequently falling to asthma include farmers, paint shop employees, bakers, workers of timber industry, food processing and plastic manufacturing, as well as employees of chemical, pharmaceutical, and rubber industries. Asbestos is primarily responsible for a cancer and non-cancer related occupational changes of pleura.
People affected by occupational asthma that occurred after a latency period, whether a few months or years, should be immediately removed from exposure to the causative agent. However, this can entail severe socio-economic consequences for the worker as well as the employer due to loss of job, unemployment, compensation issues, quasi-permanent medical expenditures, and hiring and re-training of new personnel. This can be mitigated by transferring the worker within a company. Many researches are undertaken by National Asthma Council about Occupational Asthma.