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Effects of skin contact with chemicals: what a worker should know.

Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2011-199, 2011 Aug; :1-17
More than 13 million workers in the United States have jobs that result in exposure of the skin to chemicals, such as in these fields: 1. Agriculture 2.Manufacturing 3.Services 4.Transportation/Utilities 5.Construction 6.Sales. Skin problems/diseases are the most common noninjury health issue reported by workers. The costs of work-related skin problems in the United States exceed $1 billion each year. Take action to reduce or control your exposure: MODIFY: Modify a process to eliminate chemical exposure. For example, rather than hand-cleaning metal parts during repair operations, use a mechanical cleaner. Modify work practices to reduce or eliminate skin contact with chemicals. For example, rather than applying a solvent with a rag, use a brush. VENTILATE: Reduce airborne exposures by adding local or general ventilation. For example, use ventilation during spray-painting operations to reduce airborne levels of isocyanates. MAINTAIN SKIN: Clean skin with mild soap, rinse thoroughly, and use moisturizer. Dry skin is damaged and more affected by chemicals. CLEAN UP: A clean work area helps prevent contact with chemicals on work surfaces. PPE: Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when exposure to chemicals is unavoidable. PPE may include chemical-resistant gloves, aprons, coveralls, and boots. For example, use appropriate gloves when mixing epoxy resin, to avoid skin contact. Selection of the correct PPE is critical. Check a source such as the "Quick Selection Guide to Chemical Protective Clothing."
Skin; Skin-exposure; Exposure-limits; Exposure-levels; Environmental-exposure; Chemical-reactions; Chemical-hypersensitivity; Workers; Agricultural-chemicals; Agriculture; Service-industries; Transportation; Transportation-workers; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Sensitization; Dermatology; Dermatitis; Corrosives; Irritants; Cancer; Health-hazards; Vapors; Personal-protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Pesticides-and-agricultural-chemicals; Pesticide-residues; Pesticides; Inhalants; Immunologic-disorders; Immune-reaction; Carcinogens; Halogenated-compounds; Pigmentation; Toxic-materials; Toxic-vapors; Toxic-gases; Toxic-effects; Toxins; Construction; Construction-materials
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DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2011-199; B10122011
NIOSH Division
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division