There are many different types of eczema, and atopic eczema is one of the most common. ‘Atopic’ means it runs in families and/or affects those who already have other types of allergies. An atopic person is likely to have more than one allergic condition, such as eczema, asthma, hay fever or food allergy.
Individuals with respiratory allergies – what to consider:
A risk assessment of the workplace may need to be carried out, especially if the allergens are present and if the allergens can trigger or affect the management of asthma. Examples of allergens commonly found in workplace can include flour dust in a bakery, animal dander, saliva and urine, pollen, house dust mite etc. If your workplace is indoors, it may be helpful to suggest that windows or doors remain closed, especially during peak pollen or mould seasons.
Another potential risk to people living with respiratory allergies such as asthma and hay fever can be the use of certain cleaning products and air fresheners. These products are often heavily scented as well as containing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which can trigger allergic reactions. You can request your employer looks for chemical free or allergy friendly products with no VOCs, this is also better for the environment.
Measures to reduce allergen exposure in the workplace;
Dust mite allergy: You can request that areas with carpets, rugs and soft furnishings are cleaned often and work areas are dusted with a microfibre cloth.
Mould allergy: Plants can harbour mould in the soil. Plants should be well cared for, with leaves kept clean and soil mould free.
Pet allergy: Pet hair and pollen is often carried on clothing. So where possible employers should encourage everyone to hang coats away from workstations, ideally in a cupboard or separate closed area.