Occupational Diseases and Prevention Well Explained

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Occupational Diseases and Prevention Well Explained – this has been a trending issue in recent time, see how to overcome these challenges here. 


These are routine jobs that one engages or specializes on to earn a living.


This is define as an abnormal condition of the body or mind that causes discomfort or dysfunction.

Occupational Diseases

These are illness associated with a particular occupation or industry. Such diseases result from a variety of biological, chemical, physical, and psychological factors that are present in the work environment or are otherwise encountered in the course of work.

Occupational Diseases and Prevention Well Explained


This simply means obstruction of action, access, or approach.

Each occupation is associated with its own disease, Occupational is subdivided into various categories namely:

  1. Occupational Cancer
  2. Occupational Dermatitis
  3. Occupational Lung diseases

Occupational Cancer

Cancer is a condition which describes an uncontrolled growth of cell, which by size, shape, and relation to surrounding structures can displace, erode and later alter the functions of healthy organs. Percival Pott in 1775 established an association between scrotal cancer and chimney sweeps. The sites mostly affected are skin, lungs, bladder and blood cells

  • Lung cancer: this is an occupational cancer among workers engaged in mining or handling of nickel, chromium, asbestos and iron ore. It is due to inhalation of dust, hydrocarbon, fume, cigarette substances, and tobacco smoke.
  • Skin cancer: this is due to exposure to pitch tar, shale oil, radioactive materials and ultraviolet light from the sun. Statistics shows that about 75% of all occupational cancer are skin cancer.
  • Cancer of the bladder: this occurs among workers engaged in the manufacturing of dyes, drugs (pharmaceuticals), rubber and plastics. It is caused by aromatic amines used as intermediate amines used for manufacturing of substances. Cancer of the bladder was first noted in man in aniline industry in 1895.
  • Leukemia: this is cancer of the blood caused due to exposure to benzoyl, roentgen rays and radioactive substances. Benzoyl is a dangerous chemical and is used as solvent in many industries. Leukemia may appear long after exposure has ceased.

Prevention and Control of Occupational Cancer

  • Health education of workers
  • Early diagnosis
  • Elimination or control of industrial carcinogen such as substitution, exclusion of carcinogen
  • Medical examination

Occupational Dermatitis

This is an occupational skin disease characterized by local inflammation of the skin resulting directly from or aggravated by the working environment. It occurs in workers of all ages and in any work setting. It is the most common occupational disease and responsible for enormous loss of working hours. It causes a great deal of illness, anxiety and reduced productivity and efficiency. The frequency of occupational contact dermatitis has been discovered to be directly proportional to the level of hygiene practice among workers and in the workplace and generally the disease is preventable.

Skin disease constitute 50% of all occupational diseases. Substances used in various industries may affect workers resulting in skin problems or allergic reactions. Poisoning may occur from toxic chemicals from soap manufacturing industries, pharmaceuticals, chemical, and textile industries.

Prevention and Control of Occupational Dermatitis

  • Periodic medical examination
  • Proper pre-selection of workers
  • The use of PPE
  • Personal hygiene

Occupational Lung Diseases

These group of occupational lung diseases are caused by inhalation of dust, fume, gases, vapour.

Dust is formed when earthly materials are reduced to small size by grinding, crushing, drilling and blasting. The particles vary from 1 to 200 micrometre.

The main dust induced diseases are: Pneumoconiosis, Byssinosis, and Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis.

The various symptoms of occupational lung diseases are Dyspnoea followed by total incapacitation, weight loss, progressive breathlessness, finger clubbing etc.

 Prevention Against Occupational Lung Disease

  • Health education.
  • Ventilation: dust should be controlled at source through installation of exhaust ventilation.
  • Enclosure of dusty process.
  • The use of personal protective devices such as face mask, nose masks, respirators.
  • Wet method: application of water to suppress dust with the main objective of preventing the dust from becoming airborne.

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