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When Dust Attacks

Workplace-related asthma is nothing to wheeze at.

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This story appears in the June 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Occupational asthma costs businesses an estimated $400 million per year. And with nearly 30 percent of all adult asthma cases traced to the workplace environment, as an employer, you've got a vested interest in helping employees breathe easier, and conditions are relatively easy to control.

That's because the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) recently published a checklist of health and safety recommendations to help control workplace asthma. "Employers need to work with employees, because it's an issue of lost or poor productivity due to coughing and shortness of breath," explains Jane Barlow, medical doctor and co-author of the checklist.

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