British Lung Foundation Breathe Easy Week

British Lung Foundation Breathe Easy Week

The British Lung Foundation this week celebrates its Breathe Easy Campaign against lung cancer. During “Breathe Easy week” it is important to raise awareness of jobs which can cause lung and breathing difficulties, but how do you know whether you are risk?

Roberts Jackson Solicitors highlights some of the most hazardous jobs for your lungs and explain which specific factors of the job can lead to a breathing condition.


Construction work can vary immensely however the risk of inhaling dust from demolitions, renovations or even from moving any products found during the course of this form of employment can cause Asthma and breathing related problems.

More severe and dangerous substances that construction workers can come into contact with are Asbestos fibers which can cause Asbestosis, lung cancer and Mesothelioma.

Wearing protective breathing apparatus and ensuring you work in a well-ventilated space is key.


At the top of the list of jobs which are most likely to cause Asthma is working in a bakery or a related working environment. Bakery as a job role accounts for up to 25% of the Asthma in UK adults.

Breathing problems occur from inhaling additives and allergens found within the flour in the baking process. This substance is easily spread and if the employee is working in a particularly confined space this can increase the risk of developing a breathing condition.

Wearing protective breathing apparatus and ensuring you work in a well-ventilated space is key when working in such an environment.

Automotive Industry

Within this industry in particular auto-body spray paints such as isocyanate and polyurethane products cause severe breathlessness if inhaled on a regular basis and can trigger attacks of Asthma or a shortness of breath.

With paint spraying the employee can be working with paint fumes for a long duration of time with no breaks. Due to this it is key that not only breathing masks are provided but also full body protection to stop any fumes or chemicals from effecting the employee.

Respirators and other breathing apparatus are essential.


The cleaning industry contains many potential hazardous substances such as reactive chemicals which can lead to irritation of the lung tissue. The use of products such as bleach produces extremely harmful airborne substances however the severity is often not taken into account as these products can be easily found around the home.

Cleaning can also affect the individual with the type of object they are cleaning. In certain circumstances an employee may be cleaning machinery which is covered in dust or other harmful substances.

Protection should always be provided to the employee in the form of PPE. It is also suggested that the environment is suitable such as opening windows and doors.


Hairdressing is another industry that people would not often associate with potential breathing issues. Similar to cleaning the use of products such as shampoo, conditioners and bleaching agents when inhaled can cause one time breathing issues or over a period of time can cause more serious issues.

Certain hair straightening products such as formaldehyde are a known human carcinogen which can lead to occupational asthma due to the fumes damaging the interior of the lungs.

The key to protection in the hairdressing industry is good ventilation. Face masks and other protection are not essential however if a certain product is causing an issue there is the option to find a more suitable alternative.

What to do next

If you have suffered a breathing condition as a result of your work and would like free legal advice on the options available to you then please contact us on 0808 252 7222. Alternatively you can fill in the contact form on the right of the page and an advisor will contact you in the next 24 hours.

Please note all information on this page is provided by Roberts Jackson Solicitors. Roberts Jackson Solicitors are not affiliated with the British lung foundation, however if you would like more information about breathe easy week or the British Lung Foundation please visit their site below.

About the British Lung Foundation (BLF)

1 person in 5 in the UK is affected by lung disease and millions more people of all ages are at risk. The BLF is the UK’s only charity working for everyone affected by any lung disease.

The BLF does three crucial things:

1) Lung disease can be frightening and debilitating. They offer hope and support at every step so that no one has to face it alone.

2) They campaign to increase awareness, to prevent future cases of lung disease, and to improve diagnosis rates so people can get the treatment they need sooner.

3) They fund vital research, so that new treatments and cures can help to save lives.

The BLF Helpline (03000 030 555) is staffed by specialist nurses and information assistants to advise on anything from symptoms to financial support. For more information on the British Lung Foundation, please visit –

Breathe Easy Week

Breathe Easy Week is a series of events that take place throughout the UK in June each year, in which the BLF’s Breathe Easy peer-to-peer support groups around the country help raise awareness of a particular issue relating to lung disease. Topics in previous years have included smoking, sleep apnoea and asbestos-related disease. The theme of Breathe Easy Week this year was Breathlessness.