Occupational skin exposure to water: a population-based study.
2008 (English)In: The British journal of dermatology, ISSN 1365-2133Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Background Occupational exposure to skin irritants, in particular to water, is an important risk factor for hand eczema. Objectives To assess occupational skin exposure to water in the general population. Methods As part of a public health survey in Stockholm, Sweden, 18 267 gainfully employed individuals aged 18-64 years completed a questionnaire with previously validated questions regarding occupational skin exposure to water. Results Altogether 16% reported exposure to water for (1/2) h or more a day, and 13% reported exposure to water more than 10 times a day. Furthermore, 7% reported water exposure of more than 2 h and 6% of more than 20 times a day. Women reported more water exposure than men and many female-dominated occupations were seen to comprise water exposure. Women were also more exposed than men within the same jobs. Young adults were more exposed than older. A total of 18% were employed in high-risk occupations for hand eczema. Fifty-nine per cent of individuals employed in high-risk occupations reported water exposure at work, compared with 11% in low-risk occupations. Conclusions A total of 20% of the population of working age acknowledged occupational skin exposure to water, which was found to be more common in young adults and women. Using job title as a proxy for water exposure gives an underestimation due to misclassification. In assessing occupational skin exposure to water, both exposure time and frequency should be considered.
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IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-19645DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2008.08850.xPubMedID: 18811687OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-19645DiVA: diva2:202242