The U.S. cannabis production industry’s first reported occupational asthma death took the life of a worker in Massachusetts, federal health and safety officials said.
The woman, 27, was working in a cannabis cultivation and processing facility when she experienced worsening work-related respiratory symptoms that ended in a fatal asthma attack in January 2022, officials said in a federal report published Thursday. The report states that allergic diseases such as asthma are a growing concern in the U.S. cannabis industry, which has grown rapidly in recent years thanks to a wave of state-level legalizations.
The report said the worker’s death “illustrates missed opportunities for prevention, including workplace exposures, medical surveillance, and treatment according to the current asthma guidelines.”
The report also states that evaluation of workers with new-onset or worsening asthma is essential in cannabis facilities. That approach could help prevent workplace deat..