Common Occupational Illnesses

Serving New Hampshire & Vermont including Concord, Manchester & Nashua

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the following diseases and disorders as the most common work related illnesses. Click on any of the underlined words or phrases to learn more about the illness, including diagnosis and treatment options.

Skin Diseases or Disorders

This group of illnesses occur when the body comes in contact with an irritant such as a chemical or plant. Examples include:

  • Contact dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Rashes
  • Oil acne
  • Friction blisters
  • Chrome ulcers
  • Inflammation of the skin

Respiratory Conditions

Breathing in toxic or irritating substances or gasses can cause this group of illnesses. Hazardous biological agents, chemicals, dust, gases, vapors or fumes are responsible for thousands of respiratory conditions in workers each year. Examples of respiratory conditions include:

  • Silicosis
  • Asbestosis
  • Pneumonitis
  • Pharyngitis
  • Rhinitis (acute congestion)
  • Farmers lung
  • Beryllium disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • Occupational asthma
  • Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
  • Toxic inhalation injury (metal fume fever, chronic obstructive bronchitis and other pneumoconioses)


Poisoning occurs when a toxic substance is ingested or absorbed through the skin. Examples include poisoning by:

  • Benzene
  • Benzol
  • Carbon tetrachloride
  • Organic solvents
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Arsenic
  • Other metals
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • Other gases
  • Insecticide sprays
  • Parathion
  • Lead arsenate
  • Formaldehyde

Other Occupational Illnesses

Illnesses that do not fall into the above categories include:

  • Heat and sunstroke
  • Heat exhaustion and heat stress
  • Freezing and frostbite
  • Decompression sickness
  • Effects of ionizing radiation (isotopes, x-rays and radium)
  • Effects of non-ionizing radiation (welding flash, ultra-violet rays and lasers)
  • Anthrax
  • AIDS, HIV, Hepatitis B or C
  • Brucellosis
  • Malignant or benign tumors
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Coccidioidomycsis

We hope that the information found here will help you understand the variety of illness that effect workers.

Illnesses contracted at work are often not detected for months or years after the initial exposure. Asbestosis is a good example of this. In cases where exposure occurred long ago, getting the best attorney is crucial. Evidence must be gathered, an especially difficult task when the employee has moved on to another job or has retired.

Still, there are ways to fight for and win workers' compensation benefits, regardless of the passage of time.

If you would like to speak with attorneys experienced in workers' compensation cases, please contact the Law Offices of Van Dorn & Curtiss online or by phone at (866) 933-6115 today for your free consultation.  We proudly serve the areas of New Hampshire and Vermont including Nashua, Concord and Manchester.