One-fifth of chronic lung disease in construction workers linked to asbestos, silica and other on-the-job exposures

A recent study by the US-American Center for Construction Research and Training
and Duke University found that 18 percent of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary
Disease among construction workers is caused by on-the-job exposure to vapors,
gases, dusts, and fumes such as asbestos, silica dusts, and welding fumes*.

The disease progressively diminishes a person's ability to breathe and is
characterized by mucous-producing cough, shortness of breath, and chest
tightness. It afflicts more than 13 million people in the U.S., and
construction workers are at an increased risk.

Researchers compared the work history, smoking habits, and medical screening
results of roughly 2,000 older construction workers with and without COPD
between 1997 and 2013. Their findings indicate that, while smoking remains the
main cause of COPD, workplace exposure to these hazards pose a more significant
risk than previously thought and employers should take appropriate actions to
protect workers.

More information - Source: U.S. Department of Labor