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October 1988

Occupational Disease Statistics In Perspective

Author Affiliations

Section of Industrial Dermatology Department of Dermatology The Cleveland Clinic Foundation 9500 Euclid Ave Cleveland, OH 44106

Arch Dermatol. 1988;124(10):1557-1558. doi:10.1001/archderm.1988.01670100059015

Our knowledge of occupational skin disease is derived primarily from four sources as follows: (1) statistical compilations of occupational disease reports, (2) clinical studies of epidemics, (3) clinical case reports, and (4) very few epidemiologic studies.1,2 Most of the information in the medical literature consists of individual case reports or studies of small outbreaks of occupational skin disorders.2 Prior to the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970, statistical data were available only from some states through workers compensation agencies and state labor and health departments.3 Recognizing the need for adequate, uniform, and national statistical data, the Occupational Safety and Health Act implemented a system of data collection through the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The purpose of collecting these statistics includes targeting industries for inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), targeting clinical practice research and prevention priorities, establishing priorities for