The results of a survey of occupational dermatitis among tobacco workers were summarized. The records of the Kentucky Regional Poison Center, Louisville, Kentucky were searched to identify any cases of tobacco dermatitis reported in 1990, 1991, and 1992. Three cases, males aged 16, 25, and 35 years old, one occurring in each year, were identified. The cases were reported to the center within 1 day following exposure to tobacco plants during cultivation or manual harvesting. The symptoms reported by each case included erythema, pruritus, skin irritation, or rash that developed on the arms, face, legs, underarms, and sternal area after working in a tobacco field or with freshly cut tobacco plants. No other signs or symptoms were noted. No confounding exposures to agricultural chemicals or other substances were reported. Two patients were followed up with phone interviews. Both reported improvement within 24 hours after first contacting the poison center. The authors conclude that although the case reports were not confirmed by patch testing or clinical observation, they suggest that tobacco dermatitis can occur earlier during tobacco production than previously thought. Further surveillance and documentation of reported cases of tobacco dermatitis among growers and harvesters are recommended.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Cooperative-Agreement; Tobacco-constituents; Plant-substances; Toxic-materials; Agricultural-workers; Epidemiology; Intoxication; Occupational-exposure; Information-systems; Poison-control; Tobacco-industry; Skin-disorders; Contact-dermatitis; Clinical-symptoms; Occupational-dermatitis; Case-studies;
Author Keywords: tobacco; dermatitis; occupational; surveillance; plants
University of Kentucky, Department of Preventive Medicine, Lexington, KY