Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS)
Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (or RADS) is an asthma-like illness that can occur “after a single exposure to high levels of an irritating vapor, fume, or smoke. In most instances, the high level exposure was the result of an accident occurring in the workplace or a situation where there was poor ventilation and limited air exchange in the area. In all cases, symptoms developed within a few hours and often minutes after exposure.” Symptoms include: coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath (dyspnea).
RADS is considered to be different than occupational asthma. While studying this condition, Drs. SM Brooks, MA Weiss and IL Bernstein wrote, “this investigation suggests acute high level, uncontrolled irritant exposures may cause an asthma-like syndrome in some individuals which is different from typical occupational asthma. It can lead to long-term sequelae [after-effects] and chronic airways disease.”*
RADS may lead to extended medical disability and lifestyle restrictions.
*SOURCE: CHEST, the official publication of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), September 1985, vol 88. no. 3, 376-384