Background. Dermatitis is an important health outcome for workers whose jobs put them in contact with irritants or sensitizing agents. Objectives. We conducted an analysis of data from the Epidemiological Study on the Risk of Asthma in Cleaning Workers 2 (EPIASLI2) to assess worksites and cleaning products as risk factors for hand dermatitis among professional cleaning workers. Materials/methods. We distributed 4993 questionnaires to employees of 37 cleaning companies, and used data from 818 (16%) respondents who provided information about skin symptoms and cleaning-related exposures. We assessed associations between the frequencies of worksite and cleaning product exposures and a symptom-based definition of hand dermatitis among current cleaning workers (n = 693) and a comparison population (n = 125). Results. Hand dermatitis was reported by 28% of current cleaning workers, versus 18% of the comparison population, and was associated with cleaning outdoor areas and schools, and the use of hydrochloric acid [prevalence ratio (PR) 1.92, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.22-3.02] and dust mop products (PR 1.75, 95% CI 1.11-2.75). Conclusions. Professional cleaning workers may not be sufficiently protected from cutaneous disease at work. Future research should further investigate the roles of multiple product exposures and personal protective equipment. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
- Occupational diseases
- Occupational exposure