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What is occupational disease?

An occupational disease is a health problem caused by exposure to a workplace health hazard.


Occupational diseases occur as a result of exposure to physical, chemical, biological or psychological factors in the workplace.


Eg. Exposure to lead in the workplace can cause lead poisoning.  Exposure to silica in the workplace can cause silicosis.  However other factors such as individual susceptibility, may play a role in the development of diseases among exposed workers such as :


  • Asbestos dust : It causes asbestosis, carcinoma of the lung. (Fibrosis of the lung), also carcinoma of the larynx.  The symptoms of asbestosis are difficulty in breathing, cough and chest pain.
  • Wood dust : It can cause nasal cancer and also various lung diseases.  It can also cause a pneumoconiosis and also occupational asthma.  The symptoms are cough, cold and breathlessness.
  • Grain dust : It can cause Occupational asthma. 


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