Risk of contact allergy and dermatitis at a wind turbine plant using epoxy resin-based plastics

K Rasmussen, O Carstensen, Ann Pontén, Birgitta Gruvberger, Marléne Isaksson, Magnus Bruze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Aims: To identify workplace and individual risk factors for occupational contact allergy and dermatitis. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out at an international company producing wind turbine systems in Denmark. A cohort of 724 production workers at four facilities was highly exposed to epoxy resin as well as other chemicals. A screening questionnaire (participation rate 84.7%) was followed by an interview by an occupational physician and a dermatological examination, including patch testing, for a comprehensive list of potential workplace sensitizers. Results: Clinically diagnosed dermatitis was found among 214 workers (35.8%) and contact allergy to materials used in the workplace was found in 66 workers (10.9% of the total population and 20.3% of those who underwent patch testing). Of the 66 workers with a work-related allergy, 40 (60.6%) were allergic to epoxy compounds, 25 (37.9%) to hardeners and ten (15.2%) to other workplace materials, where one person showed an allergy only to these materials. Experiencing contact allergy was related to older age and longer employment in the workplace-however, neither of these risk factors was significant. The main risk factor for current dermatitis was contact allergy to materials used in the workplace, determined by patch testing, OR=5.4 (95% CI 3.9-9.9). Fewer days of absence from work was also related to current dermatitis, OR=2.0 (95% CI 1.2-3.5). Conclusions: In a cohort of workers with extensive exposure to chemicals related to epoxy-resin systems, contact dermatitis and allergy was prevalent. Older age and longer duration of employment at the workplace were individual risk factors for allergy to workplace materials, whilst work-related allergies and longer duration of employment at the workplace were significant risk factors for current dermatitis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-217
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Volume78
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Occupational and Environmental Dermatology Unit (013241310), Pediatrics/Urology/Gynecology/Endocrinology (013240400)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health

Keywords

  • wind turbine
  • eczema
  • dermatitis
  • epoxy

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