The use of protective gloves and the prevalence of hand eczema, skin complaints and allergy to natural rubber latex among dental personnel in the county of Uppsala, Sweden.Contact Dermatitis 2000; 43(1):4-8CD
During the past decade, there has been an increasing problem with acrylate allergy and natural rubber latex (NRL) allergy among dental personnel. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of these problems among dentists, dental nurses and dental hygienists in Uppsala county, Sweden. The study was based on a self-administered questionnaire sent to 690 persons with 527 responders (76%). The most common skin problem was dry skin, fissures and/or itching on the hands. Of the 72 persons (13.6%) reporting to have suffered from hand eczema during the past 12 months, 41 were patch tested with the TRUE Test standard series and the Swedish dental screening series. In the patch tested group, 9.8% reacted to 1 or more of the acrylates. In addition, 389 persons were tested for NRL allergy with the Pharmacia Upjohn CAP-RAST test, and of these, we found 7.2% to be positive. The prevalence of self-reported hand eczema and the number of positive CAP-RAST tests differed between the 3 occupations, with higher figures for the dentists. There was also a correlation between atopic eczema and hand eczema. Of those reporting skin symptoms, 67.7% connected them to the place of work and 28.8% related them to the use of gloves.