Occupational dermatoses among Polish private farmers, 1991-1999

Source: Spiewak R. Occupational dermatoses among Polish private farmers, 1991-1999. Am J Ind Med 2003; 43 (6): 647-655.

Abstract

Background: Little is known about work-related skin diseases among Polish self-employed farmers. In the National Register of Occupational Diseases, private farmers are placed in one category together with other agricultural workers, despite fundamental differences in compensation legislation and separate insurance institutions. The Agricultural Social Insurance Fund reports only on numbers of compensated cases. The aim of this study was to create reliable statistics on occupational dermatoses among private farmers.

Methods: All cases of work-related skin diseases diagnosed from 1991 to 1999 were included in the statistics. Compensation records of the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund were analyzed for diagnoses, causative factors, and health impairment of the skin.

Results: The first occupational dermatosis was registered in 1992. Until the end of 1999, there were 101 cases (63 women and 38 men). The incidence rose from 0.006/10,000/year in 1992 to 0.189/10,000/year in 1999. Allergic contact dermatitis was the most common diagnosis (86%), followed by infectious skin diseases (10%), irritant contact dermatitis (3%), and urticaria (2%). The most frequently identified causative factors were plant dusts (38%), animal allergens (36%), metals (29%), pesticides (18%), and rubber chemicals (15%). The median impairment due to skin disease was 20% (range 2-36%).

Conclusions: Since the introduction of workers' compensation, the numbers of occupational dermatoses diagnosed in Polish private farmers have increased rapidly. However, compared to countries with a longer experience in this field, these figures remain low, probably due to low detection of these diseases.

Key words: occupational dermatoses, agriculture, private farmers, Poland, causative agents, clinical pictures, new insurance system, compensation registry, statistical analysis.

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© Wiley-Liss, Inc. Source © Radoslaw Spiewak (contact).
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Document created: 20 July 2003, last updated: 1 September 2006.