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Occupational allergic rhinitis in Finland.

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  • 1Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland.


Between 1980 and 1987 a total of 166 patients were diagnosed as having occupational (mostly allergic) rhinitis at the Institute of Occupational Health. This is about 20% of all the diagnosed cases in Finland. The most common causes were: flour (50 cases), wood dust (30 cases), animal epithelia (19 cases), and natural fibers, mainly cotton (19 cases). Between 1981 and 1987 the number of cases of occupational rhinitis in all of Finland more than doubled (from 61 to 128 cases per year), and in 1991 a total of 319 cases were detected. This was mainly due to the increase in rhinitis caused by animal epithelium and flour dust, which were then the most common causes of occupational rhinitis in Finland. This increase, in turn, was based on changes in the Finnish legislation, which in 1982 was extended to cover farmers. Other causes of the increase were probably the increased awareness of the public and health personnel, but a true increase in occupational rhinitis cannot be excluded.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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