Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home

IMMUNE, DERMAL AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES

figure with microscope of cells, fumes

Dermal Diseases

Activities: NIOSH Research Projects

NORA Derm: Development of Decision-Making Procedures & Documents

This project is the Education and Information Division component of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Dermal Exposure Research Program (DERP). This project will develop decision-making procedures and risk communication documents for prevention of occupational skin exposures. The documents will set forth NIOSH policies and recommendations for the identification and classification of chemical substances of wide industrial applications as agents causing irritant contact dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, and/or systemic toxicity as a result of skin absorption. The methods for hazard recognition and exposure assessment and the recommendations for workplace interventions including using chemical protective clothing will be documented and published as NIOSH products and disseminated to workers and workplace management. This project also participates in planning and convening NORA DERP-supported international conferences aiming to promote awareness of occupational skin exposures and research.

Project contact: Thomas Lentz
Division: Education and Information Division
Phone: (513) 533-8302
Project period: 10/01/00 - 09/30/09

Dermal Cross Sector Coordination

The exposure of workers' skin to toxic chemicals in the workplace may result in adverse health effects including systemic effects, skin irritation and/or dermal sensitization. To advance our understanding on the occupational skin diseases and the strategies of exposure control and prevention, NIOSH Immune, Dermal and Infectious Diseases Program supports laboratory and field investigations and the development of scientifically based recommendations to promote safe and healthful working conditions. As a strategy to effectively improve skin notations, a NIOSH-Stakeholder Joint Workgroup was formed in FY 2006 to evaluate chemicals of significant dermal effects and to exchange information with NIOSH for the improvement of skin notations.

Project contact: Gary S. Dotson
Division: Education and Information Division
Phone: (513) 533-8302
Project period: 10/01/05 - 09/30/15

Dermal Guidance and Communication Products

As a result of multiple research activities relating to the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Dermal Exposure Research Program (DERP) & Dermal Cross-Sector Team, EID has several guidance initiatives and resulting communication products under development. These research-to-practice (r2p) products will be coordinated in FY08 through a project effort with new project leadership upon the close-out of the NORA DERP at the end of FY12. This multi-year project will involve documenting the skin notation setting process. The process will also be used to classify 90 priority chemicals over a 2-year period. Based on assessment of their applicability and utility, the skin notations will also be determined for the additional dermal hazards in subsequent years.

Project contact: Gary S. Dotson
Division: Education and Information Division
Phone: (513) 533-8302
Project period: 10/01/06 - 09/30/12

Immunotoxicity of Workplace Xenobiotics in Humans

The objective of this project is to add to the immunological database that has been established for humans exposed to xenobiotics in the workplace. The need to expand this database and validate testing strategies has been recognized by expert panels and international organizations. This information would 1) further improve risk assessment strategies by providing data to determine if a correlation exists between rodent and human immunotoxicity data; 2) determine the types of responses and classes of chemicals which alter immune parameters to predict whether immunologic endpoints can be utilized as biomarkers of xenobiotic exposure; identify the genetic determinants that influence immunological/inflammatory disorders that can be influenced by occupational exposures and 3) determine if xenobiotic-exposed populations with altered immune function have a greater risk for the development of clinical disease.

Project contact: Michael Luster
Division: Health Effects Laboratory Division
Phone: (304) 285-6121
Project period: 10/01/05 - 09/30/11

Gloves Accelerator Levels Causing Contact Dermatitis

The overall hypothesis of this project is that contact with excessive amounts of chemical sensitizers on medical gloves results in significant allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) disease. The project’s long term goal is to prevent allergic contact dermatitis in healthcare workers who are sensitized to glove chemicals and in doing so hopefully prevent additional sensitizations. Specifically NIOSH will:

(1) Measure accelerator levels on gloves that cause allergic reaction in patients.
(2) Compare accelerator level to the intensity of the clinical patch test response.
(3) Evaluate the effectiveness of low accelerator gloves in preventing reactions.

Project contact: Paul Siegel
Division: Health Effects Laboratory Division
Phone: (304) 285-6121
Project period: 12/01/04 - 09/30/08

Dermal Effects of Nanoparticles

Nanoparticles are new materials of emerging technological importance in different industries. Because dermal exposure is likely in a number of occupational settings, it is very important to assess whether nanoparticles could cause adverse effects to skin. The hypothesis is that nanoparticles are toxic to the skin and the toxicity is dependent on their penetration to skin, induction of oxidative stress, and content of transition metals. Because inflammation provides a redox environment in which transition metals can fully realize their pro-oxidant potential, a combination of inflammatory response with metal oxide particles or iron-containing SWCNT will synergistically enhance damage to cells and tissue. Results obtained from these studies provide critical knowledge about mechanisms of dermal toxicity of nanoscale materials and will be used by regulatory agencies (OSHA and EPA) and industry to address strategies for assurance of healthy work practices and safe environments.

Project contact: Anna Shvedova
Division: Health Effects Laboratory Division
Phone: (304) 285-6121
Project period: 10/01/05 - 09/30/10

Mechanism-based Intervention of Occupational Dermal Toxicity

The overarching goal of this project is to protect workers from the adverse health effects arising from occupational dermal exposure to toxic chemicals. Dermal and systemic toxicity following occupational dermal exposure to potentially toxic chemicals is a major research area. There are a large number of workers who are suffering from adverse health effects following occupational dermal exposure to toxic chemicals. This project goal will be achieved by developing intervention strategies based on the results obtained from studies investigating the mechanism(s) of dermal and systemic toxicity resulting from dermal exposure to chemicals of occupational importance. This will require a proper understanding of the causal mechanisms of chemical toxicity following dermal exposure and the development of appropriate, mechanism-based strategies to protect workers from the incidence of such adverse health effects.

Project contact: Pius Joseph
Division: Health Effects Laboratory Division
Phone: (304) 285-6121
Project period: 10/01/07 - 09/30/12

Cutaneous Bioactivation of Xenobiotics: Hapten vs. Prohapten

The purpose of this project is to develop an in vivo model of allergic skin sensitization that can discriminate between chemicals requiring metabolic activation for sensitization (prohaptens) and those that can sensitize without biological activation (haptens). The model will involve the dermal application of various pharmacological inhibitors of the cytochrome p 450 pathway prior to performing either the local lymph node assay (LLNA) or/and mouse ear swelling test (MEST). Selective inhibition of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) pathway should distinguish between direct acting haptens and metabolically activated pro-haptens. Validation of the models will be done using known direct acting haptens and pro-haptens. Successful development of these models will produce data that strengthens in silico hazard predictive models and allows for substitution or modification of allergenic chemicals and drugs.

Project contact: Paul Siegel
Division: Health Effects Laboratory Division
Phone: (304) 285-6121
Project period: 10/01/07 - 09/30/10

The Transient Dermal Exposure: Model and Experiments

Dermal exposures to workplace chemicals are complex, and it is difficult to quantify the amount of chemical that penetrates the skin from a given exposure. The purpose of this project is to enhance knowledge and understanding of the dermal penetration of industrial chemicals following the types of exposure that occur in the occupational setting. In vitro skin penetration experiments will provide data that can be compared with the predictions of computer models. This comparison permits refinement of the computer models to enhance their predictive value. A final product of this research will be a user-friendly, interactive, web-based calculator that will serve as a tool to estimate the amount of chemical that penetrates the skin resulting from workplace exposures.

Project contact: Fred Frasch
Division: Health Effects Laboratory Division
Phone: (304) 285-6121
Project period: 10/01/06 - 09/30/09

Characterization & Communication of Chemical Hazards

Many workers are exposed to chemicals, dusts, mine gases, and welding fumes. Overexposures to these substances may cause significant acute or chronic health problems. The project goals are to characterize workers’ exposures to various chemical hazards, develop analytical methods, and communicate chemical hazard information to the mining industry. The anticipated outcomes include: raising the mine workers awareness of the hazardous chemicals they work with in order to minimize chronic health effects; developing exposure assessment methods that will rapidly determine airborne hazard concentrations in the mining environment thus allowing timely assessment of potential overexposures; identifying the best methods for mapping exposure levels in a mine environment; characterizing welding fumes from common mining applications; evaluating the potential for adverse health effects from miners exposure to radon prodgyny; and assessing the prevalence and potential for mitigation of deleterious dermal exposures. These outcomes will be significant not only to the mining industry, but will also impact other industries with similar problems to achieve comparable safety and health benefits.

Project contact: Arthur Miller
Division: Spokane Research Lab
Phone: (509) 354-8000
Project period: 10/01/05 - 09/30/09

Beryllium Dermal Exposure and Sensitization Risk

This project is one of four that comprise the NORA Research Program “Beryllium and a Novel Control Paradigm.” The long-term goal of the project is to support the development of a categorical paradigm for risk of beryllium sensitization by assessing different routes of exposure. The working hypothesis is that skin is an important route of exposure that leads to beryllium sensitization. The research design is a cross-sectional characterization of an index of possible skin loading (before required use of nitrile or latex gloves) and current airborne beryllium concentrations in a representative sample of workers chosen among diverse beryllium manufacturing facilities. Research results will be relevant to beryllium workers, management, and policy makers, and also to the broader metals industries, including hard metal, aluminum refining and smelting, recycling, and nanotechnology.

Project contact: Greg Day
Division of Respiratory Disease Studies
(304) 285-6387
Project period: Continuing


NORA Dermal Exposure Research Program
NIOSH technical document “A Strategy for Improvement of Skin Notations.”

This document is currently being revised by Scott Dotson and is scheduled for final editorial review by Anne Hamilton. The document presents the strategic framework and scientific rationale for the derivation of improved skin notations capable of distinguishing between systemic and direct effects of the skin. Comments from internal NIOSH and external reviewers have been addressed. DDB is using internal resources to prepare this document for final OD review and clearance for publication.

Project contact: Scott Dotson
Education and Information Division
(513) 533-8540
Project period: Continuing

NIOSH brochure “Skin Notations—Alerting Dangers of Occupational Skin Exposures

This brochure was initially drafted to introduce the new skin notations to workers and employers (of limited technical background). The brochure is being reformatted and will be reviewed by Dawn Tharr. The redrafted version will include risk management recommendations and will target occupational health practitioners (e.g., safety managers, IHs, and occupational clinicians). This brochure is a companion product to the technical strategy document intended to give the practitioner the background needed to understand the basic aspects of dermal risk management.

Project contact: Scott Dotson
Education and Information Division
(513) 533-8540
Project period: Continuing

NIOSH database Chemical Protective Clothing (CPC) Recommendations for inclusion in the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG)

The database was produced in collaboration with Krister Forsberg, the author of Quick Selection Guide to Chemical Protective Clothing to include chemical-specific recommendations for CPC barrier materials. This database and its introduction and instructions have been internally reviewed. Extramural review using the Internet may be more advantageous than by invited subject matter experts, as it allows for submission of additional recommendations from, e.g., CPC manufacturers who constantly conduct CPC permeation testing. The introduction to the database is being reviewed by Dawn Tharr and Scott Dotson with an objective of streamlining the text for the Pocket Guide. We will request a review from NPPTL (Ron Shaffer). Note: The NIOSH Pocket Guide already has a cell in the template for CPC recommendations.

Project contact: Scott Dotson
Education and Information Division
(513) 533-8540
Project period: Continuing

NORA Dermal Exposure Research Program Closeout Project

Dermal Resource Guide: (Comprehensive Resource Guide for Managing Occupational Exposures of Skin to Hazardous Chemicals): This is a combined NORA DERP and EID project and is a time-sensitive effort because of the contract requirements.

The Compendium has been developed by WESTAT, Inc. as a part of an existing contract. WESTAT has produced a draft product, which is currently receiving external review. Once the external review is completed, WESTAT will respond to review comments and improve the product. The next draft will be submitted to NIOSH OD seeking approval for publication. Following each stage of review, WESTAT will provide responses to review comments. Scott Dotson has been appointed Project Officer to oversee the completion of the Dermal Resource Guide, assisted by T.J. Lentz and Dawn Tharr. The document was sent out for external review on August 7, 2007. Comments are being reviewed and will be addressed by the contractor.

Project contact: Scott Dotson
Education and Information Division
(513) 533-8540
Project period: Continuing

NORA DERP Acting Directorship
NORA DERP ended in September 2006, and Chen-Peng Chen was acting as the program director. While NORA DERP in the remaining period has a reduced level of activity, it may be appropriate to continue having a focal point of communication and coordination to respond to calls from the Institute and NIOSH partners/stakeholders for input and assistance.


NIOSH Immune, Dermal & Infectious Diseases Program
NIOSH-Stakeholder Joint Workgroup for Skin Notations

The workgroup was formed in late 2005 and first met in Cincinnati, Ohio, on March 24, 2006. The workgroup currently has 10 members, five NIOSH scientists and five non-NIOSH experts. In the first meeting, the workgroup reviewed the new NIOSH strategy for assignment of skin notations, discussed the approach for data collection and review in support of skin notations, and conducted a dry-run for chromium and atrazine. Since that time, two additional meetings of the workgroup have taken place in Baltimore and Denver. The fourth meeting is scheduled for November 2007 in Cincinnati with the focus of reviewing the first 48 skin notations and supporting documentations that have been drafted based on the technical document, A Strategy for Improvement of Skin Notations  currently being finalized.

Project contact: Scott Dotson
Education and Information Division
(513) 533-8540
Project period: Continuing


Dermal Program

The total number of projects in this program is 42 (without double counting within the program) with overall budget of $10,908,949.

The main focus of the dermal program is the development of a general scientifically-based dermal policy aimed at preventing diseases due to skin exposure to hazardous chemicals. To achieve this goal, NIOSH conducts occupational skin disease surveillance (one project), performs risk assessment, and develops engineering controls to reduce skin exposure to hazardous chemicals (Table 1). As part of this program, NIOSH disseminates occupational safety and health technical information including Recommended Exposure Limits (RELs), research findings, training materials, performance criteria, and recommendations for using personal protective equipment.

Table 1. Breakdown of 41 projects within dermal program according to major hazardous agents.

Hazardous AgentRisk AssessmentProtectionIntervention,
Dissemination
Total
Health Effects
& Causes
Exposure AssessmentEngineering
Controls
PPE
Beryllium 11  2
Metal working fluids12   3
Pesticides 5   5
Organics 2 114
Arsenic1    1
UV1    1
Welding fumes1    1
Asphalt fumes 1   1
Latex    22
General2824521

 

 
Contact Us:
  • Page last reviewed: December 18, 2012
  • Page last updated: December 18, 2012
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO