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 Journal Article uri icon
  • BACKGROUND: Little is known about the epidemiology of contact dermatitis in production workers (PWs). OBJECTIVE: The aims of this study were to estimate the prevalence of contact dermatitis and characterize clinically relevant and occupationally related allergens among North American PWs undergoing patch testing. METHODS: This was a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of North American Contact Dermatitis Group data from 1998 to 2014. RESULTS: Of 39,332 patch-tested patients, 2732 (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 (P < 0.0001). 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; all Ps < 0.0001). Epoxy (15.3%), thiuram mix (8.3%), carba mix (8.1%), formaldehyde (6.3%), and cobalt (5.9%) were the most frequent occupationally related allergens. The top allergen sources included adhesives/glues (16.0%), metalworking fluids/cutting oils (6.8%), and coatings (6.3%). CONCLUSIONS: Production workers had a high rate of occupationally related skin disease, as well as irritant and allergic contact dermatitis. Involvement of exposed body areas was common. Frequently identified allergens included adhesives/glues, rubber accelerators, metals, and preservatives.

  • Link to Article
    publication date
  • 2017
  • published in
  • Dermatitis  Journal
  • Research
  • Adverse Effects
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dermatitis
  • Occupational Health
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Workplace
  • Additional Document Info
  • 28
  • issue
  • 3