Cinnaminson, New Jersey, February 15th
More than 13 million workers in the United States are potentially exposed to chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin according to estimates from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Dermal exposure to hazardous agents can result in a variety of occupational diseases and disorders, including occupational skin diseases (OSD) and systemic toxicity.
NIOSH reports that occupational skin diseases are the second most common type of occupational disease and can occur in several different forms, including:
- Irritant contact dermatitis
- Allergic contact dermatitis
- Skin cancers
- Skin infections
- Skin injuries
- Other miscellaneous skin diseases
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also proclaims that skin exposure to chemicals in the workplace is a significant problem. Both the number of cases and the rate of skin disease in the U.S. exceeds recordable respiratory illnesses. For example, in 2018, 25,000 recordable skin diseases were reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) at a rate of 2.2 injuries per 10,000 employees, compared to 19,600 respiratory illnesses with a rate of 1.7 illnesses per 10,000 employees.
OSHA goes on to state:
Most chemicals are readily absorbed through the skin and can cause other health effects and/or contribute to the dose absorbed by inhalation of the chemical from the air. Many studies indicate that absorption of chemicals through the skin can occur without being noticed by the worker. In many cases, skin is a more significant route of exposure than the lung. This is particularly true for non-volatile chemicals which are relatively toxic and which remain on work surfaces for long periods of time.
“Contact dermatitis is one of the most common types of occupational illness, with estimated annual costs exceeding $1 billion from just that one skin condition according to NIOSH,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL, our industrial hygiene and environmental scientists from laboratories across North America work to identify occupational exposure risks to chemicals that could be a dermal or respiratory threat. We not only provide laboratory testing services, but also sampling supplies and a full line of personal protective equipment (PPE).”
EMSL recently sponsored an educational video about dermal exposure to chemical hazards in the workplace that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/QNBOSdRDii8
To learn more about this or other occupational, environmental, indoor air quality, health and safety testing services, or for access to sampling supplies and PPE, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products, and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP, and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.