Mechanics are at higher risk to develop occupational skin diseases from exposure to irritants, oils, greases, preservatives, and metals.
The aim of the study was to investigate contact dermatitis in mechanics who underwent patch test in Northeastern Italy and compare them with white-collar workers (WCW).
From 1996 to 2016, 27,381 patients with suspected allergic contact dermatitis were patch tested in Northeastern Italy; in this group, 1270 mechanics were studied. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence interval (CI), adjusted by age and sex, were calculated assuming WCW as the reference category (n = 6933).
Mechanics represented 4.6% of the population tested. Their mean ± SD age was 36.1 ± 11.2 years. Compared with WCW, they were found to have an increased risk of occupational dermatitis (OR = 14.4; 95% CI = 11.6–18) and hand/forearm dermatitis (OR = 2.5; 95% CI = 2.3–2.9). They presented an increased risk of sensitization to epoxy resin (OR = 2.7; 95% CI = 1.5–4.8), to thiurams (OR = 2.4; 95% CI = 1.5–3.8), to 2-mercaptobenzothiazole (OR = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.1–3.4), and to diaminodiphenylmethane (OR = 1.7; 95% CI = 1.1–2.5).
Compared to WCW, mechanics were found to be at higher risk to develop occupational contact dermatitis, associated mainly to sensitization to epoxy resin and rubber accelerators.
From the Clinical Unit of Occupational Medicine, University of Trieste, Italy.
Address reprint requests to Francesca Larese Filon, MD, Universita degli Studi di Trieste, Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche, e Chirurgiche e della Salute, Trieste, Italy. E-mail: email@example.com.
The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to declare.