Allergic contact dermatitis among maintenance and clerical workers in a military population

Dan Slodownik*, Yonit Wohl, Adva Mansura, Shlomo Moshe, Hagit Sarbagil-Maman, Tsipora Shochat, Yehezkel Levi, Sarah Brenner, Arieh Ingber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Contact dermatitis is one of the leading causes of occupational morbidity and absenteeism and has become an intolerable cause of missed workdays and health problems in the Israeli military. The aim of this study was to determine the rate of contact dermatitis in maintenance and clerical workers, the common allergens causing it, and the background of atopy in the subjects in order to design preventive measures. Medical records of all recruits to the Israel Defense Forces from 2000 to 2003 were reviewed for contact dermatitis. The 102 cases found were further assessed for job assignment, atopic background, and allergens. Of the 102 cases, 60 had irritant contact dermatitis and 42 had allergic contact dermatitis, of which 33 (78.6%) were maintenance workers, mainly mechanics. 13 soldiers in the maintenance job category (39%) and 2 soldiers in the clerical group (22.2%) had atopic background. There were 55 positive reactions in patch tests, 25 of them to oil and cooling fluids, with 14.5% attributed to methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone) (Kathon CG). Atopy was found to be a risk factor for allergic contact dermatitis in our study and should be screened for in job assignment procedures in the military. Oil and greases contain significant allergens, especially their preservatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-337
Number of pages3
JournalContact Dermatitis
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Military
  • Occupation


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