Today is World #COPDDay . The 2022 theme is ‘Your Lungs for Life’ and this is to highlight the importance of lifelong lung health.
What is COPD?
It stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
COPD is a major cause of disability and death, thousands of people die each year from work-related lung diseases and in many cases due to exposures that took place many years before.
COPD describes a number of breathing problems where there is damage to the breathing tubes and air sacs within the lung. Breathing in certain dusts, fumes, chemicals or gases in the workplace can cause serious long term lung damage.
The main cause of COPD is cigarette smoking. But exposure to dusts in the workplace can also cause COPD, even in people who don't smoke.
The risk of developing COPD is greatly increased if you breathe in dusts/fumes in the workplace and you smoke.
There is increasing research evidence that COPD can be caused or made worse by dusts, fumes and irritating gases at work.
Work related COPD is a priority because of the human costs in terms of suffering, its effects on the quality of life and the financial costs due to working days lost and medical treatment.
Research findings suggest that for Great Britain:
- Around 15% of COPD may be caused or made worse by work
- 4000 COPD deaths every year may be related to work exposures
- 40% of COPD patients are below retirement age
- A quarter of those below retirement age are unable to work at all
Help with COPD
Unfortunately, once COPD develops the damage to the lungs cannot be reversed. However, you can help stop it getting worse by reducing exposure to the dust, fume and irritating gases at work that are causing the problem, and if you do smoke, by stopping.
Protect yourself from the dangers of lung disease with the correct respiratory protective equipment.
Contact us for further advice or to discuss a solution