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January 1962

Occupational Dermatitis of Railroad Workers

Author Affiliations


From the Medical Department, The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, (Dr. Kaplan), and from the Subdepartment of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Hospital (Dr. Zeligman).

Arch Dermatol. 1962;85(1):95-102. doi:10.1001/archderm.1962.01590010101012

Skin diseases are recognized to be the most common of all occupational diseases. Authorities estimate that industrial dermatoses comprise more than 60% of all occupational ills.1 In the railroad industry, which employed about 949,000 workers in 1959,2 one could expect a substantial number of dermatoses, both occupational and nonoccupational. Statistics of the United States Railroad Retirement Board3 indicate that 162 pensions were granted 1956-1960 inclusive because of disability based on all types of diseases of the skin without reference to occupational status. During this period 2 employees of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad received pensions because of occupational dermatitis.

Like other industries, the railroads in recent years have experienced a number of changes. There has been, for example, a considerable trend toward the use of diesel engines; the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad started dieselization in 1935 and completed it in 1957. The dermatoses encountered have been greatly

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