There are some occupational injuries you might never expect. As a baker you may have to worry about bruising or cutting yourself on machinery, burning yourself on hot ovens or even getting arthritis from kneading and pressing dough. The last thing you would expect is to find yourself routinely having difficulty breathing, or to find yourself coughing and dealing with massive congestion. Yet if you are experiencing shortness of breath with increasing frequency, you may have baker’s asthma.

Baker’s asthma comes from inhalation of flour and other fine particulates from grains. These fine particulates can do the same sort of damage to your lungs as substances such as asbestos, given enough time and exposure. This damage comes with extensive symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, you may experience symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, runny nose and more. Some of these symptoms can be panic-inducing if they rise to the level of a full-on asthma attack.

Because this is a work-related illness, while you may experience symptoms both at and away from work, you may find that your symptoms worsen as the work week progresses thanks to prolonged exposure. If this persists to the point of permanent chronic illness. you may need to speak with your employer regarding workers’ compensation for work-related illness. Workers’ compensation may be instrumental in attaining any medical treatment or respiratory devices you may need.

This is an informational post that should not be considered a substitute for legal counsel from a qualified lawyer.