The Journal of Laryngology & Otology

Review Articles

Defining and classifying occupational rhinitis

Castano a1c1 and Thériault a1
a1 Department of Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Article author query
castano r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
thériault g   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Three categories of rhinitis may occur in the workplace: occupational rhinitis, work-aggravated rhinitis and rhinitis-like conditions. In the present paper, we propose a new definition and a new classification of occupational rhinitis that takes into account mechanisms of induction as well as clinical presentation. In parallel with occupational asthma, occupational rhinitis is defined as a type of rhinitis characterized by intermittent or sometimes permanent nasal airflow limitation due to causes and conditions attributable to the work environment. Occupational rhinitis is classified according to its mechanism of induction as immunological or irritant-induced (non-immunological) rhinitis. Occupational rhinitis of the immunological type can itself be episodic or persistent, whereas the non-immunological type is subdivided into acute, chronic and corrosive.

(Published Online July 19 2006)
(Accepted February 14 2006)

Key Words: Rhinitis; Asthma; Occupational Pollutants; Occupational Health.

c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Roberto Castano, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, Centre de Recherche/Pneumologie, 5400 Boulevard Gouin, Ouest, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H4J 1C5. E-mail: