An outbreak of pruritic skin lesions in a group of laboratory workers - A case report

M. R. Sim, A. Echt

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In May 1993, an outbreak of pruritic skin lesions occurred among a group of employees located in four laboratories in the basement of an office building. Medical interviews with the affected workers were performed and an industrial hygiene survey of the site was conducted. Workers commonly reported a prickling sensation on exposed skin. Four of the workers had small (< 5 mm) erythematous papules on their forearms. Just prior to the outbreak, the installation of fibrous glass insulation had commenced in the mechanical rooms which provided air to the basement of the building. Because of the nature of the symptoms and the temporal relationship with the nearby insulation work, direct skin contact with fibrous glass fibres was thought to be the cause of the outbreak. The poorly maintained air handling unit supplying air to the laboratories probably contributed to this outbreak by inefficient filtering of the circulating air.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-238
Number of pages4
JournalOccupational Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • Dermatitis
  • Fibrous glass
  • Laboratory workers

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