Latex glove allergy among hospital employees: a study in the north-west of England.
The frequency of use and duration of wearing latex gloves among hospital employees has increased due to concerns about AIDS and hepatitis. In many countries there is increased consciousness about latex sensitization. In the UK, the Medical Device Agency has been monitoring latex allergy for a number of years but has not found any conclusive evidence of any significant problem. We report following a detailed questionnaire study in two hospitals in the north-west of England. A total of 1,827 members of staff were questioned about latex allergy at work. One hundred and twenty-four (7%) of these hospital employees had experienced symptoms strongly suggestive of latex allergy. Of this group, 56 had a-RAST test (IgE specific to latex), which was positive in seven (12.5%). There was a history of atopy in 31%, and a family history of atopy in 17% of the individuals. As a result of the study it was found that 17% (21 of the affected individuals) had already changed their working practice by using latex-free gloves. We were able to increase awareness of latex allergy within the hospitals. Both individuals and health care organizations need to be aware of the problem and hospital organizations should encourage staff to seek guidance to address the problem and, if necessary, to take appropriate measures to improve working practices. Practical guidelines are given with regard to identifying the problem and glove use for hospital staff. (+info)
Irritant contact dermatitis due to 1-bromo-3-chloro-5,5-dimethylhydantoin in a hydrotherapy pool. Risk assessments: the need for continuous evidence-based assessments.
A physiotherapist working in hydrotherapy presented to occupational health with irritant contact dermatitis. Subsequent investigation revealed that the likely causative agent was 1-bromo 3-chloro 5,5 dimethylhydantoin which was used to disinfect the hydrotherapy pool. A COSHH risk assessment had been performed which failed to take full account of current knowledge and this agent had been introduced into the workplace. The development of adverse health effects among staff and other pool users lead to a review of this risk assessment and eventually a return to less hazardous chlorine-based disinfection. Had an evidence-based approach been combined with an appropriate COSHH assessment prior to and following changes in the workplace then unnecessary risk to employees would not have occurred. (+info)
Repeated hand urticaria due to contact with fishfood.
BACKGROUND: The etiology of urticaria is often difficult to determine. However, in case of repeated circumstance-connected urticaria, the reason may be easily clarifyable. CASE: A 51-year-old healthy woman repeatedly experienced occupational hand urticaria when handling fish food. An unexpected reason for the urticaria was found in that the fishfood contained histamine as a "contaminant". CONCLUSIONS: In fishfood batches, biological degradation can produce histamine and possibly other toxic substances that can lead to occupational health problems. (+info)
Is occupational dermatitis being taken seriously by UK industries?
Occupational dermatitis is a considerable burden but little is documented concerning industry response to this. A postal questionnaire survey of 1,100 UK companies was conducted to investigate skin care provision. The response rate was 51%. The person primarily responsible for health and safety had a professional qualification in only 34% of responding companies. In all, 75% of companies responded that they were required to conduct COSHH risk assessments and, of these, 71% mentioned skin hazards. Only 27% of companies had a skin care policy but 71% had procedures requiring glove use. Seventy-seven per cent of companies did not conduct regular skin checks. Twenty-six per cent had either been aware of a skin problem in the workforce in the last 12 months or had had to modify work practices. Improvement of skin care in UK industry could be facilitated by the establishment of a minimum recommended training qualification; assistance with compliance with COSHH legislation; and guidelines to design and implement a skin policy, provide worker protection and detect skin problems. (+info)
Occupational induction of hypersensitivity after an accidental exposure to chloromethylisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone (CMI/MI) in an industrial worker.
A process worker in a paper chemical plant developed an immediate local dermal irritation and delayed bullous dermatitis due to induction of hypersensitivity following an accidental exposure to chloromethylisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone (CMI/MI) biocide. Contact allergy to the isothiazolinone mixture was confirmed by skin patch testing. The dermatitis healed in four weeks, and the worker was advised to avoid all CMI/MI containing products. In a one-year follow-up he did not present with any further skin symptoms. Preventive measures are important for avoiding induction of hypersensitivity to concentrated CMI/MI solutions in industrial workers. (+info)
Risk of hand dermatitis among hairdressers versus office workers.
OBJECTIVES: The risk of irritant skin damage associated with hairdressing was estimated with the individual occupational exposure and other relevant factors having been taken into consideration. METHODS: A cohort of 2352 hairdressing and 111 office apprentices was prospectively followed for the duration of their vocational training (3 years), 3 examinations having been made and 3 years of recruitment having been used [1992 (hairdressers only), 1993, 1994] in 15 vocational training schools in northwest Germany. The information of the final follow-up examination was used for the analysis. RESULTS: A multifactorial analysis taking several (constitutional) risk factors, which were unevenly distributed between the 2 groups, into account revealed a significantly increased risk for hairdressers when compared with office workers (odds ratio approximately 4.0) with a marked decline in the most recently recruited (1994) apprentice group. Other significant factors increasing the dermatitis risk were (i) low ambient absolute humidity, (ii) young age, and (iii) a certain higher range of "atopy score". If the individual profile of occupational exposure among hairdressers was also considered, unprotected wet work of more than 2 hours per day was found to be a significant risk factor. CONCLUSIONS: Good skin protection, as operationalized in the present study, can diminish, but not eliminate, the risk of occupational irritant hand dermatitis among hairdressers. (+info)
Exposure to preservatives used in the industrial pre-treatment of timber.
OBJECTIVE: The research was to survey potential dermal exposure and inhalation exposure of operators to preservative fluids used in industrial timber pre-treatment. RESULTS: Surveys in 1996-98 produced 64 data points. These were taken from 54 sites, and involved 57 timber pre-treatment process operators. Of the data, 38 related to copper chromium arsenic preservative used in vacuum-pressure processes, 19 to solvent-based preservative in double vacuum processes and 7 to water-based preservative in double vacuum processes. Treatment cycle times, preservative concentrations, treatment load sizes and quantities of preservative used per cubic metre of timber are reported. Preservative deposition patterns were similar for all treatments, with about 90% on the legs, and most of the remainder on the arms and chest. The results are quoted as mg preservative preparation (as opposed to active substance), expressed as mg per treatment cycle and mg per minute. Water-based products in vacuum-pressure processes (38 data) showed potential dermal exposure in the range 547-132,000 mg per cycle with a median value 3960 mg per cycle (median cycle time 3 h). Water-based products in double vacuum processes (7 data) showed a range 59-8750 mg per cycle with a median value 4260 mg per cycle; and solvent-based products in double vacuum processes (19 data) showed a range 7.5-449 mg per cycle with a median value 119 mg per cycle (median cycle time 1 h for double-vacuum processes). Contamination of work clothing occurred in nearly all surveys, with around 10% penetration of the preservative as estimated by a sampling patch mounted inside the operator's coveralls. Contamination was measured inside the operator's gloves in nearly all surveys. Wearing fresh gloves was found to reduce exposure to arsenic by 71% and to permethrin by 37%. Contamination on socks was measured and found to be less frequent for double vacuum than for vacuum-pressure processes. Exposure by inhalation for vacuum-pressure processes expressed as preservative, showed a range of 0.06-7.96 mg/m3, with a median value of 1.07 mg/m3, time-weighted average exposure over one or two treatment cycles. Exposure was detected in 68% of the vacuum-pressure process surveys. There was evidence for aerosol generation on transporting timber treated with water-based preservative. For double vacuum processes, two non-zero results only were found, both for water-based preservatives. Aerosols within treatment vessels were found to have dispersed 2.5 min after opening the door. Pilotstudy biological monitoring data for urinary chromium, arsenic, and permethrin metabolites are quoted with reference to creatinine. There are tentative conclusions relating to up take via the skin. (+info)
Biocompatibility of resin-modified filling materials.
Increasing numbers of resin-based dental restorations have been placed over the past decade. During this same period, the public interest in the local and especially systemic adverse effects caused by dental materials has increased significantly. It has been found that each resin-based material releases several components into the oral environment. In particular, the comonomer, triethyleneglycol di-methacrylate (TEGDMA), and the 'hydrophilic' monomer, 2-hydroxy-ethyl-methacrylate (HEMA), are leached out from various composite resins and 'adhesive' materials (e.g., resin-modified glass-ionomer cements [GICs] and dentin adhesives) in considerable amounts during the first 24 hours after polymerization. Numerous unbound resin components may leach into saliva during the initial phase after polymerization, and later, due to degradation or erosion of the resinous restoration. Those substances may be systemically distributed and could potentially cause adverse systemic effects in patients. In addition, absorption of organic substances from unpolymerized material, through unprotected skin, due to manual contact may pose a special risk for dental personnel. This is borne out by the increasing numbers of dental nurses, technicians, and dentists who present with allergic reactions to one or more resin components, like HEMA, glutaraldehyde, ethyleneglycol di-methacrylate (EGDMA), and dibenzoyl peroxide (DPO). However, it must be emphasized that, except for conventional composite resins, data reported on the release of substances from resin-based materials are scarce. There is very little reliable information with respect to the biological interactions between resin components and various tissues. Those interactions may be either protective, like absorption to dentin, or detrimental, e.g., inflammatory reactions of soft tissues. Microbial effects have also been observed which may contribute indirectly to caries and irritation of the pulp. Therefore, it is critical, both for our patients and for the profession, that the biological effects of resin-based filling materials be clarified in the near future. (+info)