Main AHCA Website

AHCA’s main website for information on Medicaid, Health Quality Assurance and the Florida Center for Health Information and Transparency.

Go >

Florida Health Information Network

This website provides information and resources relating to AHCA’s initiatives for Health Information Technology and Health Information Exchange.

Go >


FloridaHealthFinder.gov

Provides health education and information to compare and locate health care providers in Florida to make well-informed health care decisions.

Go >
AHCA Network of Websites

Health Education


Health Encyclopedia

Search the Health Encyclopedia

Industrial bronchitis

Definition

Industrial bronchitis is swelling (inflammation) of the large airways of the lungs that occurs in some people who work around certain dusts, fumes, smoke, or other substances.

Alternative Names

Occupational bronchitis

Causes

Exposure to dusts, fumes, strong acids, and other chemicals in the air causes this type of bronchitis. Smoking may also contribute. Employers are required to have copies of material safety data sheets available in the workplace.

You may be at risk if you are exposed to dusts that contain:

  • Asbestos
  • Coal
  • Cotton
  • Flax
  • Latex
  • Metals
  • Silica
  • Talc
  • Toluene diisocyanate
  • Western red cedar

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

The health care provider will listen to your lungs using a stethoscope. Wheezing sounds or crackles may be heard.

Tests include:

Treatment

The purpose of treatment is to reduce the irritation.

Getting more air into the workplace or wearing masks to filter out the offending dust particles may help. Some people may need to be taken out of the workplace.

Some cases of industrial bronchitis go away without treatment. Other times, a person may need inhaled anti-inflammatory medications. If you are at risk or have experienced this problem and you smoke, stop smoking.

Helpful measures include:

  • Breathing humidified air
  • Increasing fluid intake
  • Resting

Outlook (Prognosis)

The outcome may be good as long as you can stop being exposed to the irritant. Chronic disability from industrial bronchitis is rare.

Possible Complications

Continued exposure to irritating gases, fumes, or other substances can lead to permanent lung damage.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if you are regularly exposed to dusts, fumes, strong acids, or other chemicals that can affect the lungs and you develop symptoms of bronchitis.

Prevention

Control dust in industrial settings by wearing face masks and protective clothing, and by treating textiles. Stop smoking if you are at risk.

Get early screening by a doctor if you are exposed to chemicals that can cause this condition.

If you think a chemical you work with is affecting your breathing, ask your employer for a copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet. Bring it with you to your health care provider.

References

Chan-Yeung M, Malo JL. Asthma in the workplace and occupational asthma. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus VC, Martin TR, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2010:chap 64.

Tarlo SM. Occupational lung disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 93.

Review Date:12/2/2014
Reviewed By:Andrew Schriber, MD, FCCP, Specialist in Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Virtua Memorial Hospital, Mount Holly, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) and this website do not claim the information on, or referred to by, this site is error free. This site may include links to websites of other government agencies or private groups. Our Agency and this website do not control such sites and are not responsible for their content. Reference to or links to any other group, product, service, or information does not mean our Agency or this website approves of that group, product, service, or information.

Additionally, while health information provided through this website may be a valuable resource for the public, it is not designed to offer medical advice. Talk with your doctor about medical care questions you may have.

We Appreciate Your Feedback
1. Did you find this information useful?
         Yes
         No

2. Would you recommend this website to family and friends?
         Yes
         No