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Presse Med. 2013 Mar;42(3):e78-84. doi: 10.1016/j.lpm.2012.04.030. Epub 2012 Oct 23.

[Has application of the decree banning the use of cement with a high chromium VI content led to a reduction in occupational cement dermatitis in salaried workers in the construction industries?].

[Article in French]

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Institut Alfred-Fournier, service de dermatologie, 75014 Paris, France.



Active employees in the construction industry are particularly exposed to occupational cement eczema (OCE) which affects the hands in 80 to 90% of cases. The importance of OCE in France and the impact of the application of decree n(o). 2005-577 on 26 May 2005 were estimated from data collected by the Occupational risks division of the French national health insurance fund for salaried workers (CNAMTS). This decree prohibits the placing on the market and use of cement (and preparations containing it) with a chromium VI content above 0.0002% in order to reduce its hazardousness.


All cases of OCE reported to and recognized by the CNAMTS between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2008 among construction workers were selected. The following parameters were noted in each case: age, gender, industrial sector concerned, local French National health insurance agency, causal agent and the number of working days lost. The incidence per 100,000 salaried workers could be determined from the total number of salaried workers followed up by occupational medicine as well as those working in the construction industry.


For the five years studied, 3698 cases of occupational eczema (OE) were reported in construction workers and this was 17.1% of the total number of cases of OE for all salaried employees (n=12.689). Cement was the causal agent most frequently involved in the construction sector (57.8%, 2139/3698). The annual incidence of OCE decreased from 37.8 to 21.1 new cases per 100,000 employees in the construction industry per year between 2004 and 2008. The total number of days lost from work due to OCE decreased by 39% during the study period.


This descriptive study highlights the importance and socio-economic impact of OCE in the construction industry. Application of decree n(o). 2005-577 on 26 May 2005 may explain a reduction in OCE.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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