Fluorescent lighting has hitherto been considered entirely harmless. In December 1948 an informal request was submitted to the Medical Department of a large pharmaceutical manufacturing organization to investigate complaints of a mild type of cutaneous irritation occurring among the 5 female operators in the penicillin filling-room. These complaints were minor, for at no time had any of the affected employees reported to the plant dispensary for treatment, nor had any time been lost from work as a result of this condition.
Chief complaints of the operators were redness, dryness and occasional itching of the skin, most prominent on the forearms, arms and exposed areas of the neck and upper sternal region. Examination revealed erythematous areas, with dryness and some evidence of moderate desquamation. Lines of demarcation on the upper part of the arm at the edge of the sleeve were noted in 1 case.
Questioning revealed that these lesions were