Occupational skin diseases constitute an important workers in the construction site in the cement industry. People (men/women) who handle cement are at a higher risk of contracting skin infections owing to the harmful chemicals it contains.
The AIIMS study found that the major concentrations of chemicals like hexavalent chromium in cement can lead to skin problems like toxic paronychia (nail disease), subungual necrosis (fingertip injuries), folliculitis (hair infection) and petechiae (skin patches). Before the start of the treatment, the patient has to go under a patch test but this is a cumbersome one as hospitals do not have the facilities. The tests for the same in the private hospitals cost INR 10,000 and above. Even if the diseases are treated, one should be cautious enough to not to return to the construction site, because if one does so, chances are that the allergies will start appearing in seven to eight days.
Addition of ferrous sulphate can minimize the risk of skin allergy in India but they can cause an increase in the cost production and the cement prices might go up.
Source : India today