Greenhouse Workers

  • Roy Gerth van WijkEmail author
  • Liu Liu
  • Nicolette W. de Jong
Reference work entry


The greenhouse condition is unique to protect and nourish plants and helps control plant- and pest-related illnesses. The building conditions in combination with the density of plants, temperature, humidity, and measures to stimulate growth establish an environment in which greenhouse workers may be exposed to high levels of allergens, irritants, and microbes. Work-related skin disorders among greenhouse workers comprise allergic and irritant contact dermatitis, airborne contact dermatitis, protein contact dermatitis, and contact urticaria. In addition, employees are at risk of developing occupational upper and lower respiratory disease.

There are several groups of agents that may elicit work-related problems in greenhouses. First, plants, flower, fruits, and vegetables may have allergenic potency giving rise to immediate or delayed-type reactions of the skin but also to rhinitis and asthma particularly in greenhouse workers who are exposed to pollen and flowers. Second, plants and crops may be infested by pest which can elicit IgE responses leading to contact urticaria and bronchial asthma. Third, chemical and biological agents to control such kinds of pests may be responsible for work-related diseases. Furthermore, molds and microorganisms may lead to respiratory diseases.

This chapter gives an overview of occupational skin diseases, allergens, and irritants in greenhouse. In addition, occupational respiratory disorders will be shortly discussed.


Compositae North European greenhouses Pesticides Molds Greenhouse crops Aeroallergen Occupational dermatitis Sesquiterpene lactones Predatory mites Occupational rhinitis Asthma Bell pepper Chrysanthemum pollen Contact urticaria IgE reactions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roy Gerth van Wijk
    • 1
    Email author
  • Liu Liu
    • 1
  • Nicolette W. de Jong
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Allergology, Department of Internal MedicineErasmus MCRotterdamThe Netherlands

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