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Occupational skin disease in Finland An analysis of 10 years of statistics from an occupational dermatology clinic

Summary

An analysis of 10 years (1974–1983) of statistics was carried out at the Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Section of Dermatology, which is devoted to occupational dermatology. A total of 1,082 cases of occupational skin diseases were diagnosed during this period. Allergic (50.1%) and toxic eczema (47.1%) comprised the majority of occupational cases of dermatosis. The most frequent causes of allergic occupational eczemas were rubber chemicals (19.9%), chromates (18.8%), and epoxy resins (13.1%). If the metals (chromium, nickel and cobalt) were considered as a group, they formed the largest category (28.4%), followed by the plastic materials (27.7%). Detergents (37.8%), followed by organic solvents (16.1%), were responsible for most of the irritant (toxic) eczemas. Occupational skin diseases currently make up about 20% of all occupational diseases in Finland, but the percentage is decreasing.

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Correspondence to Lasse Kanerva.

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Kanerva, L., Estlander, T. & Jolanki, R. Occupational skin disease in Finland An analysis of 10 years of statistics from an occupational dermatology clinic. Int. Arch Occup Environ Heath 60, 89–94 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00381486

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Key words

  • Contact dermatitis
  • Rubber chemicals
  • Chromates
  • Plastic materials
  • Contact urticaria
  • Occupational skin disease
  • Allergy