I began the study of linseed oil dermatitis when I was appointed industrial physician for the Sherwin Williams Company, paint manufacturers of Cleveland. In the manufacture of paint, linseed oil is an important factor. One of the plants of this company is devoted to the production of linseed oil, and it is in this plant that the cases were found.
For many years it was noticed that dermatitis was rife among the workers in the mill. The cases were usually mild—some of these persons had areas on the hands or feet which caused symptoms of itching or burning but were not severe enough to incapacitate them. However, soon after taking over the work from this plant I was confronted with three severe cases of dermatitis which necessitated keeping the men home from work. These cases were serious and brought the matter forcibly to my attention.
My recent preliminary paper1
VOKOUN FJ. LINSEED OIL DERMATITIS. JAMA. 1927;89(1):20-21. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690010020006