Objective Here we present data comparing trends in surveillance of occupational diseases in France and the UK for allergic contact dermatitis attributed to chromate in cement (CDCr) and contact urticaria attributed to latex (UL) within the context of changes in legislation or of national actions to reduce exposure to allergens at these two countries workplace.
Methods The time period for analysis was selected to coincide with the introduction of legislation or compensation in the UK and France (2005 for cement and 2004 for latex). Using the data of two nationwide occupational diseases reporting networks in UK and France (THOR and RNV3P respectively), we analysed the temporal trends of CDCr and of UL over the period 1998–2009. We calculated reporting odd ratio (ROR) with reference to period preceding the change of legislation for the causal agent (cement or latex) relative to time period after intervention, both for British and French data. The ROR compares the ratio of incident cases attributed to one specific allergen relative to all other causal agents, before and after the change in legislation.
Results During 2006–2009 relative to reference period, there was a significant decline of CDCr in UK construction sector (ROR = 0.37; 95% IC: 0.18 - 0.76) and a decline of french CD to cement (ROR = 0.66; 95% IC: 0.0.35 - 1.22). Concerning UL, there was a decrease in UK healthcare workers (ROR = 0.84; 95% IC: 0.57 - 1.25) in 2003–2007 period compared to 1998–2002 and a decrease in french cases (ROR = 0.73; 95% IC: 0.43 - 1.24).
Conclusion Through two distinct networks in UK and France, significant decline of CD attributed to chromate in cement and latex in gloves were observed following actions to reduce occupational exposure. These features are consistent with strong effectiveness of European preventive actions in these two countries.