International Journal of Preventive Medicine

: 2019  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 76-

Finger and nail lesion, formaldehyde exposure, and vegetable for sale

Sora Yasri1, Viroj Wiwanitkit2,  
1 KMT Primary Care Center, Bangkok, Thailand
2 Department of Tropical Medicine, Hainan Medical University, Haikou, China

Correspondence Address:
Sora Yasri
KMT Primary Care Center, Bangkok

How to cite this article:
Yasri S, Wiwanitkit V. Finger and nail lesion, formaldehyde exposure, and vegetable for sale.Int J Prev Med 2019;10:76-76

How to cite this URL:
Yasri S, Wiwanitkit V. Finger and nail lesion, formaldehyde exposure, and vegetable for sale. Int J Prev Med [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Aug 10 ];10:76-76
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Full Text

Dear Editor,

Formaldehyde or formalin is a toxic substance that can induce cancer if one chronically exposed to it. The formaldehyde contamination becomes an interesting health problem.[1] In developing countries, where there is poor legal control, the contamination of formaldehyde in food is a common problem, and this is a big public health hazard to the local people.[2] Here, the authors report an interesting case of a patient presenting with abnormal finger and nail lesion. This patient noted that she got the problem for many months. She gave the history that she had practiced as a worker in vegetable preparation for wholesale to markets for 1 year and had to use her hands for dipping of the vegetables in the formaldehyde solution every day before the vegetables are delivered to the markets. She noted that the lesion occurred 1 month after she started her work. The skin lesion is shown in [Figure 1]. The lesion was provoked when she performed daily work, dipping the vegetable into formaldehyde, and if she sipped for work, the lesion seemed improved. In this case, the patient performed repetitive self-test provocation by testing contact at other parts of her body to formaldehyde and observed the relationship between formaldehyde and dermatological problem.{Figure 1}

This is a good case study on the finger and nail lesion according to chemical irritant. Here, formaldehyde is the causative agent. The formaldehyde included dermatitis is sporadically mentioned and is usually relating to cosmetic contamination.[3] With a clear history of exposure, provocation, and appearance of dermatological problem, the diagnosis of formaldehyde-induced health problem in this patient can be made. Nevertheless, the present case is a good example of occupational health case, and it also reflects the public health problem. The patient is a worker and has to follow her tricky and bad boss who is the owner of the vegetable wholesale business. It can expect that there will be many formaldehyde-contaminated vegetables in the local markets, and this can be further hidden hazard to general population. The survey of the contamination in vegetable sample collected from the market is needed, and the strict legal control and punishment of the greedy bad businessman are recommended.

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1Tang X, Bai Y, Duong A, Smith MT, Li L, Zhang L, et al. Formaldehyde in China: Production, consumption, exposure levels, and health effects. Environ Int 2009;35:1210-24.
2Restani P, Restelli AR, Galli CL. Formaldehyde and hexamethylenetetramine as food additives: Chemical interactions and toxicology. Food Addit Contam 1992;9:597-605.
3Lundov MD, Johansen JD, Carlsen BC, Engkilde K, Menné T, Thyssen JP, et al. Formaldehyde exposure and patterns of concomitant contact allergy to formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasers. Contact Dermatitis 2010;63:31-6.