I'm new to woodworking, and over the last six months I've read with great concern that some LJs have developed COPD after years of exposure to sawdust. I just wanted to let folks know that Novartis, a top 10 in the world pharmaceutical company based out of Basel, Switzerland, issued a press release recently talking about COPD and underlying their renewed focus on the condition. I was shocked to hear that the WHO is projecting COPD to be the third largest cause of death by 2020, yikes. Most of that is due to smoking, but I know it's a real hazard for woodworkers, so I wanted to call folks attention to the article.
It's great news that Novartis is paying attention to the condition - it means that better treatments are on their way (the article indicates that they've made great strides recently with treatment). Novartis alone takes in about $60 billion in revenue each year and today is worth $217 billion (market cap). It's a good thing that they're pointing some of that money towards COPD treatment.
All the best,