Occupational Contact Dermatitis in North American Print Machine Operators Referred for Patch Testing: Retrospective Analysis of Cross-Sectional Data From the North American Contact Dermatitis Group 1998 to 2014

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Abstract

Background

Little is known about the epidemiology of contact dermatitis (CD) in print machine operators (PMOs).

Objective

The aims of this study were to estimate the prevalence of CD and characterize clinically relevant and occupationally related allergens among PMOs undergoing patch testing.

Methods

This was a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of the North American Contact Dermatitis Group data from 1998 to 2014.

Results

Of 39,332 patch-tested patients, 132 (0.3%) were PMOs. Among PMOs, most were male (75.0%) and white (92.4%). The majority were printing press operators (85.6%). The most frequent sites of dermatitis were hands (63.6%), arms (29.5%), and face/scalp (24.2%). More than half had an occupationally related skin condition (56.1%). Final diagnoses were most commonly allergic CD (58.3%) and irritant CD (33.3%). Cobalt (20.8%), carba mix (12.5%), thiuram mix (8.3%), and formaldehyde (8.3%) were the most frequent occupationally related allergens. The top allergen sources included inks (22.9%), gloves (20.8%), and coatings/dye/copy/photographic chemicals (14.6%).

Conclusions

Allergic CD, irritant CD, and involvement of exposed body areas were common among PMOs. Common allergens included rubber accelerators, metals, and preservatives.

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