Department of Public Health Sciences

Epidemiology of dermatitis among California farm workers

Gamsky, T.E., S.A. McCurdy, P. Wiggins, S. Samuels, B. Berman and M.B. Schenker

Journal of Occupational Medicine. 1992. 34(3):304-310.

To estimate the prevalence of dermatitis and risk factors for skin disease in California farm workers, a cross-sectional survey was conducted among grape, citrus, and tomato workers. The prevalence of contact dermatitis was 2% and lichenified hand dermatitis was 13%. Grape workers were more likely to report rashes in the last 12 months than were tomato workers or citrus workers. Grape workers were more likely to have contact dermatitis and lichenified hand dermatitis than were citrus or tomato workers. Increasing hours per week in agriculture, male sex, and not wearing gloves were associated with more lichenified hand dermatitis. We conclude that skin disease in agricultural workers may be causally associated with crop-specific exposures and lack of protective equipment.



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