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Contact Dermatitis. 1988 Feb;18(2):89-93.

Occupational dermatosis among chrome platers.

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Department of Industrial Health, Ministry of Labour, Singapore.


14 (38%) of 37 chrome platers in 17 chrome electroplating factories surveyed had occupational contact dermatitis, chrome ulcers, or both. 7 had chrome ulcers, 6 had contact dermatitis and 1 had both. Another 16 (43%) workers had scars suggestive of previous chrome ulcers. Mucosal irritation was present in 57% of the workers. The most common was throat irritation (49%) followed by nasal irritation (41%). Mucosal irritation was more common in hard chrome platers, while skin ulcers and dermatitis were more common in bright chrome platers. Nasal septum perforation was seen in 1 worker. Skin ulceration appeared to be a more specific sign for occupational dermatosis in chrome platers than dermatitis when the prevalence rates were compared to controls. Of the 7 workers with chrome ulcers, only 1 was allergic to chromate. Of the 6 workers with dermatitis, 2 were allergic to chromate and 1 to nickel. The worker with ulceration and dermatitis was negative to chromate and nickel. Irritant factors are therefore important in the aetiology of contact dermatitis in these chrome platers.

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