Occupational skin diseases and prevention among sanitation workers in China
Background: Little research has been focused on the health status or the occupational protection awareness of sanitation workers. The policy recommendations on the occupational safety and health of sanitation workers based on the scientific research are also insufficient in developing countries like China.
Objective: To study the incidence of dermatoses and the relevance with occupational exposure, protection awareness and protective measures among sanitation workers for better management and protection of the sanitation workers.
Methods: 273 sanitation workers and 113 administrative staff from 11 streets of Wuhan were recruited. Dermatological problems were evaluated and recorded by physical examination. Occupational exposure, protection awareness, the use of protective equipments and personal history of skin disease were assessed by questionnaires.
Results: Compared with administrative staff, sanitation workers had much more occupational dermatological problems and had a much higher rate of harmful ultraviolet ray exposure. Young sanitation workers were more aware of occupational self-protection and a relatively higher rate of them using protective equipments compared with old ones.
Conclusion: Exposure to multiple health hazards and the poor use of protective equipments are related to skin diseases in sanitation workers. Prejob training of self-protection and the use of protective equipments are recommended.
Keywords: sanitation worker; occupational skin disease; protection awareness; protective measures
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