Educational Material

Safety & Health Assessment & Research for Prevention (SHARP) — Research for Safe Work

Numerous educational brochures on occupational exposures and prevention of dermatitis were developed as part of the Washington SENSOR Dermatitis Program. The topics range from general advice on preventing work-related dermatitis to specific exposures, such as plants, metal working fluids, clothing, latex, advanced composite materials and to specific industries such as agriculture and health care.

Preventing Occupational Dermatitis--educational brochure that is a general overview of occupational and prevention efforts. A list of industrial chemical agents, skin reactions from exposure to these agents and occupations associated with using these agents is included. Report 56‑1‑1999 (130 KB PDF).

Advanced Composite Materials. Composite materials consist of a binder or matrix material (often a resin) and reinforcement, such as fibers or particles. A number of components of composite materials cause a variety of skin problems when it is exposed to these materials.

Metal Working Fluids: Prevention of skin problems when working with metal working fluids--educational brochure. Metal working fluids are industrial coolants and lubricants used in metal working operations. The fluids are irritating to the skin and can result in skin problems. This brochure addresses the types of skin problems and how to prevent these disorders. Report 55‑7‑2001 (13 KB PDF).

Clothing Dermatitis and Clothing-Related Skin Conditions--educational brochure. Occupational dermatitis from clothing can result from exposure to the fabric, chemical additives in processing the fabric, dyes, rubber chemicals and metallic hardware and fasteners. Contaminants on clothing from the workplace such as metallic dusts, greases and oils can cause characteristic rashes. Physical factors such as friction and heat retention from clothing can cause distinctive skin conditions. Report 55‑8‑2001 (19 KB PDF).

Agriculture. Exposure to environmental, biological, mechanical and chemical materials encountered in the agricultural industry can cause numerous occupational skin disorders.

  • Protecting yourself and your workers from poison oak and ivy-- educational brochure in English and Spanish. Gives information on identifying poison oak and ivy with colored photos and approved methods of eradication of the plant. Report 63‑1‑2000. Please contact SHARP for a copy of this brochure.
  • Poison oak poster. Learn to recognize poison oak and ivy in every season. Poster is presented in English and Spanish. This color poster is split over two pages, which should be joined after printing. Report 63‑2‑2000 (154 KB PDF). Please contact SHARP for a higher quality print version of this poster.
  • Skin health in agriculture--educational brochure. Information on environmental, biological, mechanical and physical exposures in agriculture workers that can result in skin problems. General advice on how to prevent and treat some skin problems is presented. Report 63‑7‑2001 (172 KB PDF).

Plants and Reactions in the Skin: Phytodermatitis. Phytodermatitis is the term used to describe skin disorders caused by exposure to plants. Occupational exposure to plants is possible in industries such as agriculture, forestry, landscaping, firefighting, floral, and food handling and preparation. Activities such as gardening, cooking, hiking, camping, and fishing can make one susceptible to phytodermatitis.

  • Phytodermatitis: Reactions in the skin caused by plants--educational material and plant list. Description of the five types of skin reactions plants can cause and a list of 300 plants that can potentially cause skin reactions. Plants are listed by their common and botanical name. Report 63‑8‑2001 (261 KB PDF).
  • Poison oak and poison ivy: Know your enemy, prevent the misery. An article written for the King County Master Gardener Newsletter (June-July 2001 Issue) on recognizing the plants, ways to avoid coming into contact with the toxic urushiol oil, how the poison oak/ivy dermatitis develops and treatment for the rash. Poison Oak and Poison Ivy (83 KB PDF).
  • Phytodermatitis: Skin reactions caused by plants. An article written for the King County Master Gardener Newsletter (August 2001 Issue) that describes the five types of skin reactions caused by plants. Phytodermatitis (17 KB PDF).
  • Color photos of plants and skin rashes. An atlas of plants and skin rashes caused by plants. The plants are divided by the type of skin reactions: mechanical, irritant, phytophoto, allergic contact, and pharmacologic. Reprinted with permission from the American Academy of Dermatology. All rights reserved.

Health Care. Health care workers are at risk for work-related dermatitis from exposures to cleansing agents, water, protective gloves, chemicals, and biological agents.

  • Hand dermatitis in health care workers--educational brochure. A short document on the causes, prevention and treatment of hand dermatitis in health care workers exposed to gloves, water, and cleansing agents. Report 66‑1‑2001 (144 KB PDF).
  • Prevention of hand dermatitis in the health care setting--reference and information document. This is a comprehensive document for infection control and employee health specialists and nursing supervisors employed in health care facilities. The document covers prevention of hand dermatitis, issues relating to the use of moisturizers, lists of moisturizers and their compatibilities with latex gloves and chlorhexidine gluconate, and references and guidelines for preventing work-related dermatitis in health care workers. The results of a survey of infection control specialists in Washington hospitals regarding the use of hand washing products, gloves and moisturizers is also presented. Report 66‑6‑2001 (150 KB PDF).

Latex Sensitivity Issues. Latex glove sensitivity in health care workers and other industries is an emerging problem as a source of occupational skin disorders.

  • Latex sensitivity in Washington State acute care hospitals: A needs assessment and survey of awareness of the issues. A survey of employee health and infection control specialists in 105 Washington acute care hospitals. Specialists were queried on knowledge of latex allergy, the perceived extent of the problem and the actions taken to address the problem. Report 59‑1‑1999. Please contact SHARP for a copy of this brochure.
  • Latex sensitivity in Washington State acute care hospitals. Cohen, MA and Kaufman, JD. AAOHN Journal 2000; 48: 297-304. Please contact SHARP for a copy of this journal article.
  • State of Washington, Department of Labor & Industries Hazard Alert: Latex Allergy. November 1997.

The reports created were supported by Grant Number U60/CCU008154-08 Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks, Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, Surveillance of Occupational Dermatologic Disorders from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. The contents of the reports are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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