Physician-diagnosed asthma, respiratory and cutaneous symptoms, immunologic sensitization and exposures among cleaners

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Title Physician-diagnosed asthma, respiratory and cutaneous symptoms, immunologic sensitization and exposures among cleaners
Year 2003 – 2005
CREOD Investigators Carrie Lynde, Maya Obadia, Gary Liss, Marcos Ribeiro, Linn Holness, Susan Tarlo
CREOD Research Program Occupational Skin and Respiratory Disease
Research Theme Burden, Lung-skin
Funder WSIB
Product Type Research Study
Background Cleaners have significant exposure to wet work, irritants and allergens.  They experience both lung and skin symptoms.  Little is known about the co-occurrence of lung and skin symptoms.
Study Focus (Research Question/Goals/
Methods)
The objective of the study was to assess the prevalence of lung and skin symptoms and determine associations between exposures and symptoms.

Questionnaires were completed by indoor cleaners and other building workers and results compared between the two groups.

Key Findings
  • 21% of male cleaners reported a rash in the past year
  • cleaners washed their hands more frequently than the other building workers
  • cleaners with a rash were less likely to have received workplace training regarding their skin and more likely to report finding the training hard to understand.
  • Cleaners reporting rash in the past year were more likely to have work-related asthma symptoms.
Implications for Health/Labour Policy and Practice Cleaners may often have both lung and skin symptoms.  Effective preventive measures addressing both respiratory and skin exposures are needed.
Publication Information Publications

  • Lynde C, Obadia M, Liss G, Ribeiro M, Holness DL, Tarlo SM. Investigating the relationship between occupational cutaneous symptoms, exposures and respiratory symptoms among professional cleaners. Occupational Medicine 2009;59:249-254.
  • Obadia M, Liss GM, Lou WY, Purdham J, Tarlo SM. Work Related Asthma Symptoms among Professional Cleaners. Am J Ind Med 2009;52:716-723.
  • Lynde CB, Obadia-Mechali M, Ribeiro M, Liss GM, Holness DL, Tarlo SM. Investigating the relationship between occupational cutaneous symptoms, exposures and respiratory symptoms among professional indoor cleaners. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2008;127:A524.
  • Ribeiro M, Buyantseva LV, Liss GM, M, Luce CE, Tarlo SM. Effect of a cleaners’strike on compensation claims in Ontario, Canada. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2008;177:A527.
  • Obadia M, Liss GM, Lou WY, Purdham J, Holness L, Tarlo SM. Work Related Asthma Symptoms among Professional Cleaners. Proceedings of the Am Thor Soc 2005:2:A441.

Presentations

  • Obadia M, Liss GM, Lou WY, Purdham J, Holness L, Tarlo SM. Work Related Asthma Symptoms among Professional Cleaners.  American Thoracic Society Meeting  May 2005, San Diego.
  • Lynde CB, Obadia-Mechali M, Ribeiro M, Liss GM, Holness DL, Tarlo SM. Investigating the relationship between occupational cutaneous symptoms, exposures and respiratory symptoms among professional indoor cleaners.  American Thoracic Society Meeting, May 2008, Toronto.
  • Ribeiro M, Buyantseva LV, Liss GM, M, Luce CE, Tarlo SM. Effect of a cleaners’ strike on compensation claims in Ontario, Canada. American Thoracic Society Meeting, May 2008, Toronto.