Occupational and Environmental Risk Factors Influencing the Inducement of Erythema among Nigerian Laboratory University Workers with Multiple Chemical Exposures.

Affiliation

Department of Community Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian 16150, Malaysia. [Email]

Abstract

: The chemicals from laboratories pose a significant risk forinducing erythema, an abnormal redness of the skin, as a result of poor occupational and environmental factors that promote hypersensitivity to a chemical agent. The aim of this present study was to determine the occupational and environmental risk factors influencing the inducement of erythema in laboratory workers due to exposure to chemicals. This was a cross-sectional study on a population-based sample of Nigerian university laboratory workers. Data were collected using the erythema index meter and an indoor air control meter. The study included 287 laboratory workers. The laboratory workers who properly used personal protective equipment (PPE) were 60% less likely to have induced erythema (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 0.40; 95% confidence interval CI: 0.22-0.77; probability value p = 0.011). The chemical mixture exceeding the permissible exposure limit (PEL) was found to have a small effect in inducing the erythema (AOR = 4.22; 95%CI: 2.88-12.11; p = 0.004). Most of the sampled laboratories where the respondents worked had unsuitable temperatures (AOR = 8.21; 95% CI: 4.03-15.01; p = 0.001). Erythema was more frequently found in the respondents who spent 4-5h in the laboratory (AOR = 3.11; 95%CI: 1.77-9.23; p = 0.001). However, high levels of ventilation reduce the likelihood of erythema in a laboratory by 82% (0.18). Multiple logistic regressions revealed that PPE, PEL, exposure time, temperature, and ventilation were the probable predictive factors associated with the inducement of erythema. Providing better educational knowledge and improving the attitude towards hazards and safety in a laboratory would lead to reduced rates of new cases.

Keywords

chemicals,erythema,laboratory workers,

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