Occupation-related contact dermatitis in North American health care workers referred for patch testing: Cross-sectional data, 1998 to 2004

Erin M. Warshaw, Sarah E. Schram, Howard I. Maibach, Donald V. Belsito, James G. Marks, Joseph F. Fowler, Robert L. Rietschel, James S. Taylor, C. G.Toby Mathias, Vincent A. Deleo, Kathryn A. Zug, Denis Sasseville, Frances J. Storrs, Melanie D. Pratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Contact dermatoses are common in health care workers (HCWs). Objectives: To (1) estimate the prevalence of occupation-relevant allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) among health care workers patch-tested from 1998 to 2004 by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group (NACDG), (2) characterize responsible allergens among health care workers overall as well as in specific health care occupational subgroups, and (3) compare these results to those of nonhealth care workers. Methods: Between 1998 and 2004, 15,896 patients were patch-tested by the NACDG. Occupation-related allergic patch-test results were analyzed among HCWs, subgroups of HCWs, and non-HCWs. Results: 1,255 patients (7.9%) were HCWs. Female gender (HCWs, 86.2%; non-HCWs, 63.6%) and hand involvement (HCWs, 54.7%; non-HCWs, 27.8%) were more common in HCWs (p,.05); 18.2% of HCWs and 6.6% of non-HCWs had occupation-related allergens of current clinical relevance. Thiuram mix (HCWs, 8.87% non-HCWs, 0.90%) and carba mix (HCWs, 5.43%; non-HCWs, 0.87%) were the most common occupation-related currently relevant antigens in HCWs and were more common in HCWs than in non-HCWs (p,.05). Conclusions: Among HCWs patch-tested by the NACDG between 1998 and 2004, the most common allergens were thiuram mix and carba mix, followed by glutaraldehyde, cocamide diethanolamine, and chloroxylenol. Gloves, sterilizing solutions, and soaps were common sources of responsible allergens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-274
Number of pages14
JournalDermatitis
Volume19
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Dermatology

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    Warshaw, E. M., Schram, S. E., Maibach, H. I., Belsito, D. V., Marks, J. G., Fowler, J. F., Rietschel, R. L., Taylor, J. S., Mathias, C. G. T., Deleo, V. A., Zug, K. A., Sasseville, D., Storrs, F. J., & Pratt, M. D. (2008). Occupation-related contact dermatitis in North American health care workers referred for patch testing: Cross-sectional data, 1998 to 2004. Dermatitis, 19(5), 261-274. https://doi.org/10.2310/6620.2008.07059