Prevalence of contact dermatitis among dental personnel in a Swedish rural county.Swed Dent J 2001; 25(1):13-20SD
The use of acrylate-based polymers in dental care in Sweden has increased dramatically in recent years. Acrylate monomers are sensitizers and can cause contact dermatitis. Allergy to latex, e.g. in rubber gloves, is also an increasing problem in health care and especially in dental care. The aim was to estimate the prevalences of work related allergies in dental personnel in a Swedish county with almost 700 dentists, dental nurses and dental hygienists. A questionnaire was distributed to all dental care units in the county and 98% of the population completed it. Specific allergy was verified with standard patch and prick testing. Work related allergy symptoms were reported by 189 subjects, 28%. The prevalences of acrylate eczema and latex allergy were 3,0% and 3,7% respectively. The prevalence of all work related skin allergy was estimated to 8%. The estimated prevalence of acrylate allergy was close to those of a few other published reports. However, the prevalence of hypersensitivity to latex rubber was lower than those reported from other studies. It is concluded that almost one dental care worker out of ten has a risk of contact dermatitis, unless measures to reduce hazardous exposure have been taken.