It’s easy to forget that occupational diseases are a real threat to the health of American workers. This article discusses the common types of occupational diseases and their treatments. 

What Is An Occupational Disease? 

An occupational disease is a disease or disorder that is developed due to chemical exposures in the workplace. 

What Are The Most Common Occupational Diseases? 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the following are some of the most common occupational diseases: 


Dermatitis that is caused by irritants or allergies is also known as contact dermatitis. There are literally thousands of substances that could potentially cause contact dermatitis. 

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

According to the CDC, nearly 30% of all COPD diagnoses can be attributed to workplace exposure. Examples of these agents include: 

  • Cadmium dust 
  • Silica dust 
  • Welding fumes 
  • Grain and flour dust

These agents can also cause asthma.

Infectious Diseases

Employees in the healthcare industry are obviously the most at risk of being exposed to infectious diseases, including: 

  • HIVbacteria that can cause an occupational disease in firefighters
  • Hepatitis 
  • Tuberculosis 
  • Influenza 

These are just a few examples of the types of viral and bacterial diseases that workers may be exposed to. 


When someone has been exposed to asbestos, they are at risk for developing mesothelioma, which is a type of cancer that is found in the lungs. This is why there are strict rules regarding the use, removal of, and disposal of asbestos. 

Various Types Of Cancer 

There are several types of cancer that can be linked back to chemical exposure during work. Workers who are commonly diagnosed with these cancers include firefighters, farmers, and those who worked in a manufacturing facility. 

If you suspect that your disease or medical disorder is due to occupational exposure, consider contacting a workers’ compensation law firm to learn more about the various types of compensation that you may be eligible for.