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NJ Construction Workers Likely to Suffer Skin Rashes after Hurricanes

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Manfred Ricciardelli
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It’s not an easy job to clean up in the wake of destruction. But while many victims will suffer displacement after a serious storm, workers in cleanup crews may suffer from occupational skin diseases.

An article in Archives of Dermatology published shortly after Hurricane Katrina explained that outbreaks of skin diseases frequently follow hurricanes and flooding. In the report, the Center for Disease Control reported several cases of skin disorders following construction cleanup of Hurricane Katrina—and of all injuries, 22% of diseases were skin or wound infections and rashes. 

The study began as a result of a request from a New Orleans hospital to the CDC after construction workers had suffered an outbreak of skin disease. The problem was so widespread that several workers repairing roofs had rashes so severe they were forced to stop working.

Researchers studied 136 civilian construction workers living on a New Orleans military base between Aug. 30, 2005 and Oct. 3, 2005. Over 65% of the workers were suffering from persistent rashes, which the researchers diagnosed as papular urticaria, a reaction to insect bites.

The study also found some portion of the workers to be suffering from:

  • Hives. The study’s authors believe that mite infestation in the flooding housing units caused skin reactions in a majority of the workers.
  • Bacterial folliculitis, or an infection that causes swelling around the hair follicles
  • Fiberglass dermatitis, an skin irritation caused by contact with fiberglass
  • Brachioradial photodermatitis, an abnormal skin reaction to sunlight that causes burning and inflammation on the skin.

If you have suffered a New Jersey construction skin disorder, contact Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr. today at (877) 360-0183 to begin your FREE, one-on-one consultation or click the link above to download our FREE electronic book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers Comp Guide. 

Category: Construction Accidents

Manfred Ricciardelli
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