Colophony Resin Exposure Causes Increase in Occupational Asthma
Occupational asthma is a work-related condition which narrows the airways and causes life-long breathing difficulties.
The increasing use of the resin known as colophony has led to a rise in occupational asthma amongst UK and US workers. Its other names include:
- Pine resin
- Abietic acid
- Solder flux
If you think your breathing has been affected by colophony in your workplace, we have pinpointed the products containing resins and common occupational asthma symptoms to look out for. We have also outlined the help and support that Roberts Jackson can provide to people suffering with the condition.
Are you exposed to the colophony resin?
The resin is typically used in the production of electronics, particularly during the process of soldering. Studies have found that around 20% of employees working in soldering in the UK and US have symptoms of occupational asthma. While non-colophony solder flux is being used in some workplaces, most employees still have to de-solder old circuit boards, which do contain colophony.
Colophony can also be found in the following:
- Printing ink
If you are a beautician, poulterer, welder or work with adhesives, paper and tyres, you could potentially be exposed to the resin and at risk of developing occupational asthma.
Colophony is also used in the production of mobile phones. With 81.6 million mobile phone users in the UK alone, and approximately 6 billion worldwide, the breathing condition has become increasingly common amongst mobile phone manufacturers.
In recent cases, chemical workers exposed to the resin heated to 90º C and unheated colophony dust have also come forward. Colophony or colophony derivatives have also been found to have caused occupational asthma when added as a deodorant to coolant oils and floor cleaning products.
Symptoms of colophony exposure
The resin can lead to contact dermatitis, rhinitis and eye irritation as well as occupational asthma. Headaches and allergic alveolitis are also common symptoms of colophony exposure.
If you work with colophony and find breathing difficult, visit our occupational asthma symptoms guide for further information on the warning signs.
Legal advice on the next steps you should follow
For people who think they have a work-related condition caused by the colophony resin, we recommend the following:
- Seek medical advice: get an official diagnosis, access to medical treatment and advice on how to protect your health in the future.
- Speak to your employer: inform them of your breathing difficulties so that they can introduce any health and safety measures needed.
- Pursue a claim for compensation: claim compensation for any financial and medical setbacks caused, if your employer continues to be negligent.
Contact us for an initial consultation
Whether you are concerned about your health or have an official diagnosis, contact Roberts Jackson on 0800 001 4496. Our legal team will be able to offer advice on the options available to you and determine whether or not it is in your best interests to pursue a compensation claim with us.