Background: Occupational contact dermatitis is one of the most common occupational diseases in Europe. In order to develop effective preventive measures, detailed and up-to-date data on the incidence, main causes and professions at risk of occupational contact dermatitis are needed.
Objectives: To describe the pattern of patch test reactivity to allergens in the European baseline series of patients with occupational contact dermatitis in different occupations.
Methods: We analysed data collected by the European Surveillance System on Contact Allergy (ESSCA) network from 2002 to 2010, from 11 European countries.
Results: Allergens in the European baseline series associated with an at least doubled risk of occupational contact dermatitis include: thiuram rubber chemical accelerators, epoxy resin, and the antimicrobials methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone, methyldibromo glutaronitrile, and formaldehyde. The highest risk of occupational contact dermatitis was found in occupations classified as 'other personal services workers', which includes hairdressers, nursing and other healthcare professionals, precision workers in metal and related materials, and blacksmiths, tool-makers and related trades workers.
Conclusions: In the planning and implementation of measures aimed at preventing occupational contact dermatitis, the focus should be on the identified high-risk occupational groups and the most common occupational allergies.
Keywords: chromium; clinical epidemiology; cobalt; contact allergy; epoxy resins; formaldehyde; methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone; methyldibromo glutaronitrile; occupational dermatitis; p-phenylenediamine; patch testing; thiurams.
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.