Asthma UK community forum

Allergies at work :(

Hi all, I hope everyone is keeping well or getting there :)

I'm a nurse and at work we quite often use a really strong detergent for cleaning (effectively industrial bleach) and every time I come into contact with it, my chest gets really tight and I cough constantly and lose my voice (my voice always goes when my lungs are grumpy) but I think the reaction is heightened just now because I am also struggling with hayfever :(

Anyway the other week I came into contact with the stuff and the usual reaction happened except much worse than dropped to 45% had to multidose at work and take steroids and a week later I still wasn't right.

I went to see occy health who basically said just stay away from the stuff gave me a letter to give to my manager who had been great about it thankfully and the rest of the staff now let me know when they are cleaning with the bleach so I can stay away as much as possible.

My manager in an attempt to help me e mailed domestic services to ask about alternative cleaning products and added occy health into the email to show that she was being proactive, but the woman at occy health (who I have never seen) replied to my manager saying that I should be redeployed to another area where the cleaning product isn't used (I.e outpatients) now I know they need nurses in these areas but this is really not where I want to be! She also arranged for me to see the occy health consultant a wk today which is fine.

The question I have is that my consultant is thinking of putting me on Xolair, I was on it before but taken off it again as it made a difference but not enough for the drs to continue it, but I'm much more allergen based now so they think it might work better. But I'm not sure if it would be appropriate to try and get in touch with my consultant to see if we can start it sooner to avoid the problems at work (and make my life a little less scary) she is very approachable and has said to get in touch if needed. I just don't want to be pestering her either.

Any advice would be much appreciated




1 Reply

hi becca :) Im also a nurse, I feel your pain having been redeployed for health reasons. Yes I ended up working where I didnt want to for a while, but it kept me well. If I had continued where I was, I would have been frequently unwell and off sick. Occupational health are there to protect your health, but unfortunately we dont always like their advice.

If your manager can be clear with occy health (in writing) that they can facilitate you not being near the triggering cleaner, than maybe that will resolve it..? Im not convinced that Xolair would help this, as bleach is caustic and damaging, so its not necessarily allergy per se if that makes sense..

Lynda :) x


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