The Occupational Burden of Respiratory Disease

Chairs: Paul Blanc and Carrie Redlich

The contribution of occupational exposure to most respiratory conditions goes unrecognized. Few lung conditions are pathognomonic for work-related disease: pneumoconiosis is the exception rather than the rule. 

At the population-level, failure to accurately appreciate the occupational burden of disease undermines effective prevention and allocation of resources for research and training. This proposed ERS/ATS task force will be charged with estimating the population burden of occupationally-associated respiratory disease across a range of conditions. This will include airway diseases (asthma and COPD) that were the focus of a previous ATS Statement at the beginning of the last decade. The aim of the project is to provide a timely update that work, but also to expand its scope to address a range of other lung conditions, many of which may have a substantive under-appreciated work-related component. The broader goal is to better inform public policy that would support prevention, research, and training efforts to improve population-based health.