This information is for people that work in gyms. It gives information on things in the workplace that could damage the lungs and advice on how to protect them.
What are the hazards?
These are some of the hazards you may come into contact with at work.
- Benzalkonium chloride (quaternary ammonium compound) – found in disinfectants and cleaners for floors and hard surfaces
- Chlorine-based agents (sodium hypochlorite) – the main ingredient in bleach
- Some scents within cleaning products such as limonene, which gives some products a citrus smell
- Isothiazolinones – used in some washing up liquids and laundry washing liquid
Used to clean the water in swimming pools. It reacts with urine and sweat in the water and releases substances called chloramines.
Biological agents are widely found in the natural environment, however some workplaces may use them intentionally. They include bacteria, viruses and fungi (mould). Some infectious lung diseases can be transmitted in the workplace particularly if you work in agriculture or with animals, or in a healthcare or gym.
Smoking is the biggest risk factor for lung conditions like COPD and lung cancer
If you smoke, you will be at a much higher risk of developing a lung condition.