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Occupational dermatitis causing lost work days.

Burnett C; Lushniak B; McCarthy W; Kaufman J
J Invest Dermatol 1997 Mar; 108(3):364
This report describes cases of occupational dermatitis cases severe enough to cause days away from work using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. The BLS survey collects employer reports from about 250,000 private industry establishments each year. Descriptive data on the cases and characteristics of the illnesses are collected on a sample of the cases that result in days away from work. National estimates of the number of cases and days away from work were calculated for industries, occupations, and dermatitis sources. Incidence rates were collected for industries. In 1993 there were an estimated 60,200 cases of occupationally related skin diseases or disorders for a rate of 7.6 per 10,000 workers. Of these, 12,613 cases were severe enough to result in one or more days away from work, with a rate of 1.6 per 10,000. Dermatitis accounted for 70% of this broad category, with 8,835 cases and a rate of 1.16 per 10,000 workers. The largest number of cases was reported for the service industry (N=3021); the highest rate was in agriculture, forestry, and fishing (4.25/10,000). The occupations with the larges number of cases were non-construction laborers (N=541) and miscellaneous food preparation (N=473). Cleaning agents caused the largest number of cases (N=1303), followed by poison ivy/oak/sumac (N=1228). While the median number of days away from work for dermatitis cases were three, calcium hydroxide and oxides, including cement mortar and lime, caused dermatoses which resulted in a median nine days from work; 27% if these cases had more than 20 days away. The BLS survey data show that the impact of occupational dermatitis is significant. Since the prognosis of dermatitis may be poor, prevention is of great importance. The identification of industries with high incidence of occupational dermatitis causing days away from work and the descriptive information on the cases could lead to targeted intervention and prevention measures resulting in lowered incidence of disease.
Dermatitis; Immune-reaction; Occupational-dermatitis; Occupational-exposure; Lost-work-days; Skin-irritants; Skin-exposure; Service-industries
Publication Date
Document Type
Abstract; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
Issue of Publication
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Journal of Investigative Dermatology
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division