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Disease and injury surveillance I

O7.1 TIME TREND IN THE OCCURRENCE OF LATEX RELATED OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES IN GERMANY 1996–2003

U. Latza1, F. Haamann2, X. Baur1.1Institute for Occupational Medicine, Hamburg, Germany; 2Berufsgenossenschaft für Gesundheit und Wohlfahrtspflege (BGW), Hamburg, Germany

Introduction: During the late 1990s the augmented use of medical gloves made of natural rubber latex (NRL) resulted in a strong increase in allergic reactions. In 1998, efforts to reduce the exposure to powdered high protein NRL gloves were reinforced in Germany (change in legislation, and a campaign among non-public healthcare providers). The aim of this analysis was to show the time trend in the frequency of NRL related occupational diseases in Germany.

Methods: The confirmed compensation claims of NRL related skin diseases (occupational disease no 5101) and obstructive airway diseases (including rhinitis; occupational disease no 4301) of the German statutory compensation scheme for non-public healthcare providers (BGW) and the public sector (Unfallkassen, Munich), and of the statutory accident insurance institution for the industrial sector (HVBG, St Augustin) for the years 1996 to 2002 are described.

Results: Overall 5851 cases of NRL related skin and airway diseases were confirmed in the industrial and public sector between 1996 and 2002. Most cases (n  = 4644) came form non-public healthcare providers (79%). The number of confirmed NRL related skin and airway diseases increased between 1997 and 1998 and continuously decreased afterwards until the year 2002 (percentage for each year relative to 1996 for non-public healthcare providers: 103%, 164%, 121%, 75%, 54%, 39%; for the public sector: 168%, 271%, 289%, 185%, 154%, 86%). In 2002, there were 274 confirmed cases from non-public healthcare providers (of which 79% were skin diseases) and 56 confirmed cases from the public sector. In the industrial sector excluding non-public healthcare providers about 50 cases were confirmed annually between 1996 and 2002 (except in 1998). Overall, most filed claims came from nurses/midwives …

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