Industrial Asthma Caused By Exposure To Fumes

In Pruett v. J & R Electric Contractor, Inc., VWC File No. 160-30-44 (Nov. 30, 1993), the claimant was an electric motor winder. In that capacity, the claimant frequently was exposed to fumes from soldering and welding, dipping the motors into a vat of epoxy or hot varnish, and cleaning the housing. The claimant began to experience respiratory problems and was diagnosed with industrial asthma. His treating physician opined that his condition was caused by exposure to fumes in the workplace. In finding that the claimant was disabled, the commission noted that the claimant's treating physicians opined that the claimant could not return to his pre-injury work because "he has become sensitized to chemicals to which he is exposed in that employment. Therefore, he has not reached his pre-injury employment status inasmuch as he was not sensitized before he became disabled."