Adolescent workplace exposures reported to Texas poison centres

Working adolescents, with less experience and less training than adults, may take more risks and get exposed to a wide variety of toxic substances in the workplace. They may get injured when working in inadequately ventilated areas or entering areas of exposure with improper or no protective equipment. The purpose of this study was to describe adolescent occupational exposures reported to poison centres. Occupational exposures reported to Texas poison centres during 2000-2015 where patients were 13-19 years in age. The distribution of the cases was determined for various factors. There were 2430 adolescent occupational exposures. The most frequently reported major substance categories were chemicals (18%), household cleaning substances (18%), hydrocarbons (10%), and industrial cleaners (9%). Forty-five percent occurred during May-August. Males accounted for 66% of the patients; 27% were 18 years and 37% were 19 years. The most common exposure routes were inhalation (28%), dermal (27%), ingestion (26%), and ocular (24%). The patients were managed on site in 51% of the exposures. Twenty-three percent of the exposures had serious outcomes. The authors concluded that adolescents involved in occupational exposures tended to be male and older. Adolescent occupational exposures were likely to involve chemicals and household cleaning substances, occur by ingestion and ocular route, and likely to be managed on site. Most were not likely to have serious outcomes.

Authors: Ziqubu-Page T, Forrester MB. ;Full Source: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine & Health. 2016 Oct 12. pii:/j/ijamh.ahead-of-print/ijamh-2016-0057/ijamh-2016-0057.xml. doi: 10.1515/ijamh-2016-0057. [Epub ahead of print] ;