Occup Environ Med 58:542-543 doi:10.1136/oem.58.8.542
  • Short report

Nasal, eye, and skin irritation in dockyard painters

  1. R Chen,
  2. S Semple,
  3. F Dick,
  4. A Seaton
  1. Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Medical School, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, Scotland, UK
  1. Professor A Seatona.seaton{at}
  • Accepted 17 April 2001


OBJECTIVES To determine whether the risk of irritant symptoms in painters is related to their exposure to paint.

METHODS The prevalences of skin, eye and nasal symptoms were compared in 260 United Kingdom and 109 Chinese dockyard painters, 539 British community controls, and 255 Chinese dockyard controls, relative to their exposure to paints.

RESULTS Painters showed an excess of irritant symptoms compared with controls. Adjusted relative risks (RRs) (95% confidence interval (95% CI) were: for skin irritation 1.58 (1.19 to 2.08) in British painters and 2.68 (1.73 to 4.09) in Chinese painters; for eye irritation, 1.41 (0.98 to 2.05) and 3.01 (1.90 to 4.76); and for nasal irritation, 1.53 (1.10 to 2.14) and 6.73 (3.53 to 12.82), respectively. Exposure duration-response relations were found for these symptoms; the risks decreased with time after exposure ended.

CONCLUSIONS Irritant symptoms occur more often in dockyard painters than in controls, and this is likely to be a response to exposure to paint.


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