Labour­ers fac­ing health haz­ards from chem­i­cals

The Gulf Today - - ASIA -

NEW DELHI: Men and women labour­ers at con­struc­tion sites who han­dle ce­ment or are ex­posed to it are at high risk of con­tract­ing skin in­fec­tions ow­ing to the harm­ful chem­i­cals it con­tains, a new study con­ducted by the All In­dia In­sti­tute of Med­i­cal Sciences (AIIMS) here has found.

The study, con­ducted by the AIIMS Depart­ment of Der­ma­tol­ogy and Venere­ol­ogy along with Swe­den’s Lund Univer­sity with key re­searchers be­ing Dr Kaushal Verma and Dr Mag­nus Bruze, found that ma­jor con­cen­tra­tions of chem­i­cals like hex­ava­lent chromium in ce­ment can leads to skin prob­lems like der­mati­tis, eczema, rashes and burn­ing sen­sa­tion, among oth­ers.

“At AIIMS, we have been see­ing many pa­tients work­ing in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try and had been suf­fer­ing from ma­jor skin al­ler­gies. After we wit­nessed a rise in the num­ber of pa­tients with such cases we de­cided to con­duct a study,” Dr Verma, Pro­fes­sor, Depart­ment of Der­ma­tol­ogy and Venere­ol­ogy, AIIMS, said.

Oc­cu­pa­tional skin dis­eases con­sti­tute an im­por­tant bur­den among work­ers in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try. As per the study, oc­cu­pa­tional ex­po­sure to ce­ment can also cause skin re­ac­tions like ce­ment burns, toxic parony­chia, sub­un­gual necro­sis, fol­li­culi­tis and pe­techiae.

Seven to eight ce­ment sam­ples avail­able in In­dian mar­ket were con­sid­ered for the study. Dr Verma said the study found that the potas­sium dichro­mate chem­i­cal, a ma­jor rea­son for skin al­ler­gies, was present in most of the sam­ples.

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