Addison, TX – Concentra recently announced a nationwide standardization of services for occupational allergies and asthma, the latter condition associated with increased risk of premature employee disability and death. Across multiple industries, more than 300 substances used in the workplace that are known or suspected to cause asthma or exacerbate pre-existing asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Nationwide, more than 65 million people have asthma and allergies, and 3,600 of them die each year, says the Asthma and Allergy Foundation. The CDC estimates as many as one-fifth of asthma deaths are work-related and, therefore, potentially preventable. The American Thoracic Society (ATS) has estimated that asthma costs $80 billion a year and results in 8.7 million lost work days.
Concentra recently completed work to ensure consistent delivery of services across nearly 520 medical centers nationwide and added new laboratory tests, forms, supplies and training, where needed, to ensure optimal diagnostic services and care for employees. Occupational allergy and asthma services include an accurate health history, physical exam, and medical surveillance at appropriate intervals. Services comply with federal and states’ requirements.
Workplace exposures are not the only contributor to occupational allergies and asthma, says Ronda McCarthy, MD, MPH, national director of medical surveillance services for Concentra. Dr. McCarthy is a member of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine’s Task Force on Climate Change and a co-author of ACOEM’s guidance statement on the incidence and severity of allergic disorders. Task force findings include documentation of more intense seasonal variations and extreme weather patterns contributing to more allergen exposure.