Exposure and Asthmagen Codes

In 1991, the AOEC developed a database system for use by AOEC Clinics, states and private entities to help identify emerging occupational and environmental health concerns. The AOEC Exposure Code System is designed for use as part of a longitudinal database project conducted in collaboration with Michigan State University.  

This exposure coding system was originally developed by Katherine Hunting, PhD, MPH and Susan McDonald, MS, CIH of George Washington University’s Occupational Medicine Group, for AOEC with support from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

The exposure code database includes diagnostic and exposure data on occupational and environmental illnesses and injuries for patients seen in member clinics. It is a tool to help clinicians and to aid in consistent reporting.  Because AOEC is a non-profit organization dedicated to public health, we allow public access to this information. 

AOEC Exposure Codes Look-Up is available and makes the use of the codes much easier. Options for downloading these resources, as well as tools to refine searches are included on this page.

Asthmagen Coding Project

The asthmagen coding project within the exposure code database system is currently the only known list of the causes of work-related Asthma that is regularly updated and revised in response to new publications in the peer reviewed literature. It is a unique data source that is updated twice a year.  Experts at Michigan State University search the scientific literature, consisting of a U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) PubMed search including a search of TOXNET (NLM Toxicology Data Network), review of references in the articles identified and review of all references associated with the current listing of an agent on the AOEC exposure list.  

For a detailed description of the criteria used to review an agent, the reader is referred to the “Criteria for Designating Substances as Occupational Asthmagens on the AOEC List of Exposure Codes”.

The exposure code database can be found here: AOEC Exposure Codes Look-Up. At this site, there are resources and tools that help you refine searches.