Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1980;6(1):58-65    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.2633

Reactions to hand cooling in workers occupationally exposed to cold.

by Enander A, Sköldström B, Holmér I

Ten men occupationally exposed to cold and ten office workers participated in the study. Reactions to immersion of the hands in cold water (+ 10 degrees C) for 2 min were studied during the following 30 min at two different ambient temperatures, 10 and 20 degrees C. Hand skin temperature was recorded in thermograms, and the subjects rated cold sensation and pain. Considerable interindividual differences in hand skin temperature reaction were found in both groups. On the average the occupationally exposed workers had a somewhat higher hand skin temperature than the office workers during the recovery period in the 10 degrees C ambient temperature, although the difference did not reach significance. The office workers rated significantly greater cold sensation as a result of the cold immersion, especially during an ambient temperature of 10 degrees C, and the frequency of pain ratings was higher for this group. The results suggest that cooling among the occupationally exposed workers at work was not severe enough to produce physiological adaptations, although some psychological adaptation was indicated.