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Improper Use of Solvents Causes Dermatitis

From The American Horologist and Jeweler magazine, October, 1946

Improper Use of Solvents Causes Dermatitis

Improper use of industrial solvents is the· third largest cause of occupational dermatitis, or skin disease, accounting for 7.80/0 of all such cases. Since each year 1,000 of every 100,000 workers are afflicted with some form of dermatitis, 78 of every 100,000 workers therefore suffer from solvent dermatitis yearly. It may be estimated further that each year 1,560 cases of solvent dermatitis of sufficient severity to be compensable occur, with a financial loss, including wage loss and the cost of medical care, of about $312,000.

If solvents are allowed to come ill frequent or prolonged contact with the skin, they may dissolve the natural secretions' of the skin glands and the fatty ingredients of skin tissue. This leads to drying, cracking, and fissuring of the skin, forming portals of entry for subsequent infection.

Hypersensitive workers should be assigned to work that does not involve the use of solvents. All workers should be instructed to avoid skin contact with these liquids as much as possible.

Where feasible, a totally or partially enclosed process is the most effective means of preventing direct body contact. 

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