Production workers (PWs) had a high rate of occupationally related skin disease, as well as irritant and allergic contact dermatitis, according to a recent study. Researchers conducted a retrospective, cross-sectional analysis of North American Contact Dermatitis Group data from 1998 to 2014. They found:
- Of 39,332 patch-tested patients, 2,732 (7.0%) were PWs.
- Among PWs, most were men (62.4%) and white (83.9%).
- A history of childhood eczema was uncommon (11.3%).
- Prevalent occupations included machine operators (27.3%); fabricators, assemblers, and hand-working occupations (16.8%); and precision metalworking occupations (16.1%).
- The most frequent sites of dermatitis were the hands (53.8%) and arms (29.4%), which were significantly more commonly affected compared with non-PWs.
- Occupationally related skin disease, allergic contact dermatitis, and irritant contact dermatitis were also significantly more common in PWs (49.9% vs 10.6%, 58.9% vs 53.7%, and 32.7% vs 25.7%, respectively).
- The top allergen sources included adhesives/glues (16.0%), metalworking fluids/cutting oils (6.8%), and coatings (6.3%).
Warshaw EM, Hagen SL, DeKoven JG, et al. Occupational contact dermatitis in North American production workers referred for patch testing: Retrospective analysis of cross-sectional data from the North American Contact Dermatitis Group 1998 to 2014. [Published online ahead of print April 7, 2017]. Dermatitis. doi:10.1097/DER.0000000000000277.
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