OBJECTIVES: This study investigated occupational contact dermatitis in a tire factory, prompted by a long history of complaints of skin ailments by the factory workers. METHODS: Participants (n=160) completed a questionnaire concerning job characteristics and skin symptoms, and received a medical examination. Fifty-four workers with suspected work-related contact dermatitis were chosen for a patch test of contact-related dermatitis. RESULTS: The most frequent positive reactions of patch test were produced by diphenylguanidine, formaldehyde and cobalt. Twenty-one of the 54 individuals (38.9%) were judged to have work-related skin disease. CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to natural and synthetic rubbers and additive materials pose a risk of contact dermatitis in a tire manufacturing environment. Improved sanitary work practices and public health awareness measures are suggested.