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Risk of hand dermatitis among hairdressers versus office workers

Risk of hand dermatitis among hairdressers versus office workers

Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health 25(5): 450-456

Objectives: The risk of irritant skin damage associated with hairdressing was estimated with the individual occupational exposure and other relevant factors having been taken into consideration. Methods: A cohort of 2352 hairdressing and 111 office apprentices was prospectively followed for the duration of their vocational training (3 years), 3 examinations having been made and 3 years of recruitment having been used (1992 (hairdressers only), 1993, 1994) in 15 vocational training schools in northwest Germany. The information of the final follow-up examination was used for the analysis. Results: A multifactorial analysis taking several (constitutional) risk factors, which were unevenly distributed between the 2 groups, into account revealed a significantly increased risk for hairdressers when compared with office workers (odds ratio approximately 4.0) with a marked decline in the most recently recruited (1994) apprentice group. Other significant factors increasing the dermatitis riskwere (i) low ambient absolute humidity, (ii) young age, and (iii) a certain higher range of "atopy score". If the individual profile of occupational exposure among hairdressers was also considered, unprotected wet work of more than 2 hours per day was found to be a significant risk factor. Conclusions: Good skin protection, as operationalized in the present study, can diminish, but not eliminate, the risk of occupational irritant hand dermatitis among hairdressers.

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Accession: 011306424

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PMID: 10569466

DOI: 10.2307/40966928

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