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Contact Dermatitis. 2008 Sep;59(3):151-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.2008.01403.x.

Effect of hand dermatitis on the total body burden of chromium after ferrous sulfate application in cement among cement workers.

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Graduate Institute of Environmental Health, China Medical University, 91 Hsueh-Shih Road, Taichung 404, Taiwan.



Ferrous sulfate (FeSO(4)) added to cement has been used to reduce the prevalence of dermatitis in workers. However, the effect of dermatitis on the total uptake of chromium in cement with or without FeSO(4) has not been previously explored.


The objective of this study was to compare the urinary chromium levels before and after FeSO(4) addition among cement workers with or without hand dermatitis.


Thirty-five male workers were recruited in this study for two consecutive years: 2003 without using FeSO(4) and 2004 after adding FeSO(4). Urinary chromium was used as a biomarker to estimate the total body burden of chromium.


Urinary chromium concentration showed significant decreases after FeSO(4) was used, and a larger decrease of urinary chromium was observed in workers with hand dermatitis than for those without hand dermatitis. Moreover, a significant decrease of urinary chromium was observed in workers with hand dermatitis in both 2003 and 2004.


FeSO(4) decreases the total body burden of chromium, especially in workers with severe and continuous hand dermatitis.

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