When people are tasked with thinking about occupational diseases, many mention respiratory illnesses such as Legionnaire’s Disease that may be caused by unclean air conditioner coils or even mold-related conditions. Others think of repetitive stress injuries, especially if someone works in an environment where they’re forced to do the same task over and over again. People seldom consider how vulnerable their skin is in the workplace. They should though.
Allergic and irritant dermatitis, which is also referred to as contact dermatitis, is the leading type of occupational skin disease here in California and the United States as whole according to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Researchers at NIOSH estimate that this condition accounts for up to 20% of all reports of occupational disease.
NIOSH researchers argue that no worker is safe from contracting this condition. They note that it’s something that employees in virtually every industry and occupation are at risk for as any number of different agents may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction.
Some of the more common substances that cause workers to contract dermatitis are chemical irritants like cutting fluids and solvents. At least a quarter of all contact dermatitis cases are allergy-related. The onset of many of these cases occurs when a worker comes in contact with pesticides or latex.
Many of the employees who develop allergic dermatitis experience delayed hypersensitivity. Some of these workers contract urticaria, or hives, after having close contact with these allergens though. Latex is one of the leading contact allergens. It mostly affects health care workers.
One of the reasons why contact dermatitis is so common in the workplace is because it’s hard for one to predict whether or not they’re going to have an adverse reaction to a substance once exposed to it.
Individuals who suffer allergic reactions may develop other medical conditions related to it. If this describes the situation that you’re in, then you may want to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney here in Torrance. Your lawyer can advise you of your right to compensated medical care and lost wages resulting from your occupational disease here in California.