Diagnosis

Chronic bronchitis is defined clinically as cough that is productive of at least 2 tablespoons of sputum on most days, for three consecutive months in 2

consecutive years, and in the absence of any other lung disease. Diagnosis of chronic bronchitis is based entirely on the history and a temporal association of symptoms with work exposures. Smoking workers are at increased risk of developing respiratory symptoms with exposure to other irritants, and a work-related contribution to their symptoms may be significant. Occupa-tionally induced chronic bronchitis should be suspected in a nonsmoking worker exposed to high concentrations of an irritant at the workplace who has evidence of airway obstruction with no history of asthma (96).

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