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Work environment impact

Hi everyone, I'm new on here. I've been asthmatic since a young child and have had multiple chest infections, pneumonia and subsequently Chronic fatigue syndrome.

Since having my daughter last year my asthma has improved markedly to the point im barely using my inhaler. From someone who has been attached to their inhaler for 32 years this has been pretty amazing.

However I finished maternity leave last week and started a new job on Thursday (for one day). Halfway through the day I realised my chest was quite tight and got quite bad that I needed my inhaler on the way home. It's a couple of days later and my chest isn't back to normal.

I'm going to speak to my manager on Tuesday when I'm back and try and work out the source as I've never realised quite such a reaction before. I can't even remember if there was aircon as it was a cold day.

Has anyone got any advice on what I can do? I'm going to take an anti-histamine and my inhaler before work Tuesday and see how I get on. I really don't want to be getting sick again but with my breathing that bad I'm going to be at a massive disadvantage.

Thanks for your time,


6 Replies

Its probably best to try and work out what triggered your asthma (perfumes, aftershaves, scented airfreshners, dust, cleaning products, aircon etc) and work from there. Once you know what is triggering you, you can work with your employer to best aid you in dealing with it.


Thanks very much for replying. Actually it could be dust as they are having an overhaul of old files that have been sat in storage for years.

I'll speak to my manager next week and let him know what's going on.

Thanks again


Depending on how large your company is, you might have a range of options. Assuming it's a large company, they will have H&S people who might already have environmental assessments.

To start with anyhow, have a look around. If you've been fine whilst off work then bad when back you can pretty much say with certainty there's likely to be a connection. Is there any mould in the room, or damp? Again assuming they are big enough, they could offer you an opportunity of working in a different room, or from home perhaps?

The other possibility could be stress - first day in a new job after having a baby - not easy! See if your symptoms are clearly related to the building or environment & take it from there.

Good luck.

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Thank you for replying.

I will ask about an environmental assessment and have a look to see if I can see anything obvious.

I'm going to speak to my new manager as he's very approachable and let him know what's going on with me.

I hope it was just stress or something like that as I can't afford to give up work!

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It is very likely that stress played a part in your problem - going back to work after maternity leave is always a bit worrying - feeling out of touch with what's happened and so on. Once you are confident that your little one is happy with the childcare you've arranged, you'll feel better. Moreover, giving birth changes your body and you might now be allergic to something you weren't before. No logic in this, but I know it happens. All the advice given here is good and I hope it will all settle down in the end.


I have astmatic reaction to air con at work too and to cold weather with gusty winds.


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