The electronics industry is becoming an important mainstream in the workforce in some developed countries and in Taiwan. Among patients with occupational hand dermatitis in northern Taiwan, workers from electronics industries were one of the most important groups. We conducted a field investigation to determine the prevalence, patterns and risk factors of occupational hand dermatoses among electronics workers. The survey was conducted in five electronics plants using a self-administered questionnaire on skin symptoms and risk factors. Skin examination and patch testing were followed for those with symptoms compatible with hand dermatitis. A total of 3070 workers completed the questionnaire. Among them, 302 (9.8%) reported to have symptoms (itching and with either redness/scaling) compatible with contact dermatitis on hands. Hand dermatitis was associated with working in the fabrication unit and personal history of atopy and metal allergy, as well as the following job titles: wafer bonding, cutting, printing/photomasking, softening/degluing, impregnation and tin plating. Among those with reported hand dermatitis, 183 completed skin examination and patch testing, 65/183 (35.5%) were diagnosed as having irritant contact dermatitis (ICD) and 7/183 (3.8%) allergic contact dermatitis. The most important allergens were nickel, cobalt and phenylenediamine. In conclusion, Taiwanese electronics workers have a high risk of having hand dermatitis, especially ICD. Preventive efforts should be focused on the workers with risk factors or at certain worksites.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis