Self-reported occupational skin contact with cleaning agents and the risk of disability pension

Contact Dermatitis. 2009 Mar;60(3):131-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.2008.01495.x.


Background: Occupational skin diseases often affect the hands and can lead to consequences at both the individual and the social level.

Objectives: To investigate and quantify the association between self-reported occupational skin contact with cleaning agents and subsequent transition to disability pension.

Methods: A sample of 8337 employees between 18 and 59 years of age participated in the Danish Work Environment Cohort Study in 1990, 1995, or 2000. They were followed up regarding disability pension until 2006 using the DREAM register on social transfer payments for all inhabitants in Denmark. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to estimate the impact of occupational exposure to cleaning agents on subsequent disability pension.

Results: Among women, 11% of the disability pension cases were attributable to exposure to cleaning agents and/or disinfectants.

Conclusions: The study suggests a potential for prevention of work-related disabilities among job groups exposed to cleaning agents.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / economics
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / epidemiology*
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / etiology
  • Detergents / adverse effects*
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Disinfectants / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Pollutants / economics
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure / economics
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Occupational Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Pensions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Detergents
  • Disinfectants
  • Environmental Pollutants