Epoxy pipe relining - an emerging contact allergy risk for workers.


BACKGROUND Epoxy pipe relining is a method of repairing old and worn water pipes supplying households. The method, using epoxy resin systems (ERSs), involves creating a new pipe inside an existing pipe. Large amounts of epoxy are normally handled at small, temporary worksites. OBJECTIVES To describe working conditions and contact allergies to ERSs in 8 patients with occupational contact dermatitis related to their work in the relining trade. METHODS Eight patients with suspected work-related eczema in the relining trade were referred to our Occupational and Environmental Dermatology outpatient unit. They were examined and patch-tested between August 2010 and May 2011. RESULTS Seven patients were patch test-positive to ERSs, and 6 of 8 reacted to the epoxy resin (MW 340) in the baseline series. Five of the patients were patch test-positive to their own work products. Seven of the cases had to leave the relining trade because of skin problems. CONCLUSIONS Relining is a widely used alternative to replacing old pipes, and entails a risk of massive skin exposure to ERSs and consequently a high risk of developing allergic contact dermatitis. Further mapping of working methods and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is crucial to reduce hazardous skin exposure.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.2011.02028.x
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@article{Berglind2012EpoxyPR, title={Epoxy pipe relining - an emerging contact allergy risk for workers.}, author={Ingeg{\"a}rd Anveden Berglind and Marie-Louise Lind and Carola Lid{\'e}n}, journal={Contact dermatitis}, year={2012}, volume={67 2}, pages={59-65} }