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Exposed to dangerous substances at current job

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample persons age 18 and older who were employed in the past two weeks, WEXSUB reports whether she/he is exposed to harmful substances in her/his current job.

This variable was introduced in 1985 as part of a series of variables with information on occupational safety and health. For related variables, please use the IPUMS NHIS search function and drop-down menus.


The wording of the question changed slightly between the two years. In 1985, it was: "In the present job, are you exposed to any substances that could endanger your health, such as chemicals, dusts, fumes, or gases?" In 1987, it changed to: "On the current job, are you exposed to any substances that would be harmful if you breathed them or got them on your skin?" These changes may reduce comparability across years. See the Survey Text tab for more details.

Changes in survey design (e.g., quarters in which the supplement was collected) may affect raw frequencies, but do not affect comparability of the variable. As always, data users should use the prescribed IHIS weights.


  • 1985: Sample persons age 18+ who were employed in the past 2 weeks.
  • 1987: Half of sample persons age 18+ (excluded from CAEP supplement) who had a job in the past 2 weeks.


  • 1985, 1987