Essential Resources for Industrial Hygiene: A Compendium of Current Practice Standards and Guidelines. M Harris, ed. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2000 Jan; :141-154
The skin is the body's largest organ and is constantly exposed to the outside environment. Although the skin evolved primarily to maintain internal homeostasis and body temperature, and act as a barrier to external pathogens, it is poorly equipped to deal with the chemicals and excessive physical insults that can be present in modern industry. Such exposures and insults to the skin may result in excessive absorption of toxic chemicals, which results in systemic damage, or can directly affect the skin adversely (including mechanical abrasion, corrosion, irritation, and allergic sensitization). Although long neglected, significant recent attention from government and industry to improve the recognition, evaluation, control, and prevention of potential skin hazards is taking place worldwide with the formation of research networks and provision of funding. This compendium will focus on resources and references pertaining to skin hazards and on developing the general understanding needed to prevent dermatitis and toxicity from occurring.