[Occupational dermatoses in farmers – an important and underestimated problem]
Occupational skin diseases in farmers constitute an important and underestimated problem. According to statistics in all branches of economy, skin diseases make 9-34% of all occupational diseases world-wide, occupying therefore ranks from 1 to 5 on the national lists of most common causes of work disability. Concerning prevalence, skin diseases can be compared to occupational hearing loss and musculoskeletal diseases. In farming, the prevalence of occupational skin diseases in USA is estimated to 2.8 cases per 1000 workers per year, and in Finland - 0.4 cases/1000/year.
In contrast to this figures, in Poland only 22 occupational skin diseases were acknowledged in the year 1999, which makes 0.015 cases/1000/year. These figures suggest that detection of occupational dermatoses among Polish farmers is unsatisfactory. Improvement to this situation can be achieved by a greater engagement of general practitioners and dermatologists settled in rural areas in the detection of suspected occupational diseases and further referrals to specialised diagnostic centres. This article presents typical clinical picture of occupational diseases in farmers as well as their most common causes.
KEY WORDS: dermatology, occupational medicine, occupational dermatoses, farmers.
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