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Contact dermatitis in a plant that produces polyvinyl chloride compound.
Calvert GM; Mathias CG
Am J Contact Dermat 1991 Mar; 2(1):33-37
An outbreak of contact dermatitis at a polyvinyl-chloride (PVC) compound production facility was investigated in May 1988. A questionnaire was administered to 53 employees to ascertain whether any incidence of rash had been observed in the preceding 3 year period. All employees with existing rashes had complete dermatological examinations. Prevalence risk ratios were calculated for each of the job titles with high exposure to dusts and powders. Eleven workers who had onset of rash before May 1985 were excluded from the study. Twenty two workers reported a rash after May 1985; 14 had high exposure jobs at the time of rash appearance, four had never worked in a high exposure job, and three developed rashes when working in low exposure jobs. Blender operators were the only single job title with a statistically significant increase in dermatitis risk. Material handlers and utility men did not exhibit statistically significant increases, probably due to the small number of observations. Employees with a history of atopy had a nonsignificant increase of dermatitis risk. Workers in high exposure jobs were at risk for developing dermatitis of the lower legs. Of the workers, 80% noted an improvement of dermatitis when away from work. The authors conclude that there is a high risk of dermatitis in the PVC industry and suggest the use of engineering and personal protection controls.
Chemical-industry-workers; Dermatosis; Occupational-exposure; Airborne-dusts; Contact-dermatitis; Plastics-industry; Skin-disorders
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Contact Dermatitis
Page last reviewed: February 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division