National Respiratory Care Week is October 25-30. It’s good to remind ourselves to be aware of the things in our environment that can harm our lungs, and to be compassionate to people who are suffering from illnesses such as COPD, the nation’s third-leading cause of death, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Lung disease affects a staggering number of Americans. About 10 million adults are diagnosed with chronic bronchitis each year, about 4.7 million others have been diagnosed with emphysema and about 25 million people live with asthma.
Occupational lung diseases, which include asbestosis and mesothelioma, also affect many Americans. Occupational illnesses are estimated to cost $150 billion annually. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), typically caused by long-term exposure to lung irritants that damage the lungs and airways, is attributed to occupational exposure 19.2% of the time.