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Faculty Member

Dorothy Linn Holness MD, MHSc, FRCPC, DTS, HonFFOM

Email Address(es)
Office Phone
(416) 864-5074
Office Address
St Michael's Hospital, 30 Bond St., Toronto, ON M5B 1W8
Occupational & Environmental Health Division
Professor Emerita
SGS Status
Member Emerita

Research Interests

Occupational skin disease – patch testing methodology and epidemiological studies, epidemiological studies of exposed populations, development of standardized data collection instruments, outcomes and health services utilization.

Occupational lung disease – epidemiological studies of exposed populations, association between measured exposures and lung function outcomes.

Occupational skin and lung disease – interaction between lung and skin as both sites of exposure and organ of response.

Occupational health service delivery models and evaluation, physician practice patterns, particular interest in the health care sector.

Marginalized populations – occupational health and safety in inner city workplaces, role of workplace injury in homelessness, spirituality and the homeless.

Recent Papers

Kramer DM, Haynes E, McMillan K, Lightfoot NE, Holness DL.  Iterative method of analysis of 90 interviews from two communities: understanding how Sudbury and Sarnia reduced occupational exposures and industrial pollution.  Sage Research Methods Cases 2018 (March)

Gupta T, Arrandale VH, Kudla I, Holness DL. Gaps in workplace education practices for prevention of occupational skin disease.  Ann Work Expo Health 2018;62:243-247.

Haynes E, Kramer DM, Strahlendorf P, Holness DL, Kushner R, Tenkate T. A cross-Canada knowledge transfer and exchange workplace intervention targeting the adoption of sun safety programs and practices: Sun Safety at Work Canada.  Safety Sci 2018;102:238-250.

Zack B, Arrandale VH, Holness DL. Skin specific training experience of workers being assessed for contact dermatitis.  Occ Med(Lond) 2018;68:203-206.

Kramer D, Gross E, Lightfoot N, Holness DL. Dimensions of community change: how the community of Sudbury responded to industrial exposures and cleaned up its environment. Journal Community Engagement and Scholarship 2018;10:81-94.

Ku R, Nichol K, Holness DL. Mild hand dermatitis: identification and management.  Ont Occup Health Nurses Assoc J 2018;Spring/summer:42-45. Co-PA

Kushner R, Kramer DM, Holness DL. Feasibility of clinicians asking patients about their exposure to occupational hazards: an intervention at five primary care health centres.  Work 2018;60:365-384.

Nichol K, McKay SM, Ruco A, Holness DL. Testing the hand dermatitis screening tool in the home healthcare sector.  Home Health Care Management and Practice  2018;30:179-186.

Budd D, House RA, Holness DL. Functional limitations in workers with hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). Occ Med(Lond) 2018;68:478-481.

Budd D, Rajaram N, Clynick M, Holness DL. Worker feedback on occupational skin disease posters. Contact Dermatitis 2018;79:314-316.

Budd D, Holness DL. Raising awareness of hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) using posters.  Work 2018;61:3-10.

Tai X, Smith AM, McGeer AJ, Dube E, Holness DL, Katz K, McGillis Hall L, McNeil SA, Powis J, Coleman BL. Comparison of response rates of invitation mode of a web-based survey pm influenza vaccine adverse events among healthcare workers: a pilot study.  BMC Med Res Methods 2018;18:59.

Haynes E, Holness DL, Tenkate T, Strahlendorf P, Kramer DM. With a little help from our friends: collaborative research partnerships in three workplace-based occupational disease research projects.  Work  2019;62:261-278.

Gerwurtz R, Premji S, Holness DL. The experience of workers who do not successfully return to work following a work-related injury.  Work 2018;61:537-549.

Arrandale V, Holness DL. Using health insurance administrative data to explore patch testing utilization in Ontario Canada – an untapped resource.  Contact Dermatitis 2019;80:386-390.

Nichol K, Copes R, Kersey K, Eriksson J, Holness DL. Screening for hand dermatitis in healthcare workers: comparing workplace screening with dermatologist photo screening.  Contact Dermatitis 2019;80:374-381.

Logar-Henderson C, MacLeod JS, Arrandale VH, Holness DL, McLeod CB, Peter A, Demers PA. Adult asthma among workers in Ontario: results from the Occupational Disease Surveillance System.  Ann Am Thor Soc2019;16:563-571.

Lightfoot N, MacEwan L, Tufford L, Holness DL, Mayer C, Kramer D. Who care: the impact of suspected mining-related lung cancer on caregivers.  Curr Oncol 2019;26:e494-e502.

Nichol K, Young V, Budd D, Hon C-Y, Kudla I, Holness DL. Testing the joint health and safety committee assessment tool in the education sector.  Arch Environ Occup Health 2019;16:1-7.

Peters CE, Pasko E, Strahlendorf P, Holness DL, Tenkate T.  Solar ultraviolet radiation exposure among outdoor workers in three Canadian provinces.  Ann Work Exp and Health 2019;63(6):679-688.

Lari S, Thompson A, Spilchuk V, Afanasyeva M, Holness DL. Patient centered care in an occupational medicine clinic.  Occup Med(Lond) 2019;69:441-444.

Shakik S, Arrandale VH, MacLeod J, Holness DL, McLeod CB, Demers PA. Dermatitis risk among workers in the Occupational Disease Surveillance System (ODSS) In Ontario, Canada.  Occ Environ Med 2019;76:625-631.

Holness DL. Occupational dermatosis.  Curr All Asthma Rep 2019;19:42.

Jiang L, McGeer A, McNeil S, et al.Canadian Healthcare Worker Study Group (Holness DL).  Which healthcare workers work with acute respiratory illness?  Evidence from Canadian acute-care hospitals during 4 influenza seasons: 2010-2011 to 2013-2014.  Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2019;40:889-896.

Keefe A, Bornstein S, Demers P, Arrandale VA, Holness DL, Stock s, Davies H, Gao Z, Koehoorn M, Neis B. A scoping review to identify strategies that work to prevent four occupational diseases. AmJ Ind Med 2020;63:490-516.

Hon C-Y, Holness DL, Fairclough C, Tchernikov I, Arrandale V. Exploratory study to determine if risk factors for occupational skin disease vary by type of food processing operation.  Work 2021;68:1113-1119.

Kalenge S, Kirkham TL, Nguyen L, Holness DL, Arrandale VH. Skin exposure to acrylates in nail salons.  Ann Work Expos Health 2021;65:162-166.

Rydz E, Harper A, Leong B, Arrandale VH, Kalia S, Foreman-Phillips L, Holness DL, Tenkate T, Peters CE. Solar ultraviolet radiation exposure among outdoor workers in Alberta, Canada. Environ Res 2020 Oct 1;189-109902.

Holness DL, Kudla I, DeKoven J, Skotnicki S. The utility of an occupational contact dermatitis patch test database in the analysis off workplace prevention activities in Toronto, Canada.  Ann Work Expos Health2021;65:196-200.’

Sanaat S, Holness DL, Arrandale VH. Health and safety in nail salons: a cross-sectional survey.  Ann Work Expos Health 2021;65:225-229.

Zhang J, Carnide N, Holness DL, Cram P. Association between cannabis and work-related injuries: a cross-sectional analysis of the Canadian Community Health Survey.  Occup Med(Lond) 2020;70:570-577.

Holness DL. Occupational contact dermatitis and urticaria.  Immunol Allergy Clin North Am 2021;411:439-453.

Zack B, Arrandale VH, Holness DL. A qualitative study to identify characteristics of a desirable training program for prevention of work-related skin disease.  Ann Work Expos Health 2021;65:230-238. 

Buckrell S, Coleman BL, McNeil S, et al. Canadian Healthcare Worker Study Group (Holness DL). Sources of viral respiratory infections in Canadian acute care hospital healthcare personnel.  J Hosp Infect  2020:104:513-521.

Rydz E, Harper , Leong B, Arrandale VH, Kalia S, Forsman-Philllips L, Holness DL, Tenkate T, Peters CE. Sun protection use at work and leisure by outdoor workers in Alberta, Canada.  J Occup Environ Med 2021;63:e138-e144.

Garrido N, House R, Lipsyzc J, Liss G, Holness DL, Tarlo SM. Cleaning agent usage in healthcare professionals: lung and skin symptoms.  J Asthma  2022;59:673-671.

DeKoven JG, DeKoven B, Warshaw EM, Mathias CGT, Taylor S, Sasseville D, Belsito DV, Fowler JF, Pratt MD, Zug KA, Maibach HI, DeLeo VA, Silverberg JI, Atwater AR, Reeder MJ, Holness DL. Occupational contact dermatitis: retrospective analysis of North American Contact Dermatitis Group data, 2001-2016.  J Am Acad Dermatol 2022;86:782-790.

Houle M-C, Holness DL, DeKoven J. Occupational contact dermatitis: an individualized approach to the worker with dermatitis.  Current Dermatology Reports 2021; 2021;10:182-191.

Holness DL, Gomez P, Kudla I, Skotnicki S, DeKoven J. Occupational contact dermatitis:  return to work using a multidisciplinary clinic model.  Contact Dermatitis 2021;85:686-672.

Nichol KA, Rucco A, Holness DL. Testing the JHSC assessment e-tool in the construction sector.  Work2022;73:247-254.

Spilchuk V, House R, Nisenbaum R, Holness DL. Evaluation of a consultation note assessment tool for occupational medicine. Occup Med(Lond) 2022;72:99-104.

Lightfoot N, Manitowabi D, Arrandale V, Barnett N, Nootchtai C, Odjig ML, Moulton J, Fongemy J, Lariviere M, Kerekes Z, , Holness L, MacEwn L, Eger, T, Warry W. Workers’ compensation experience in some Indigenous Northern Ontario communities. Work 2022;73:707-717.

Nguyen LV, Diamond ML, Kalenge S, Kirkham TL, Holness DL, Arrandale VH. Occupational exposure of Canadian nail salon workers to plasticizers including phthalates and organophosphate esters (OPEs).  Environ Sci Technol 2022;66:3193-3203.

Spilchuk V, House R, Holness DL. Assessment of clinical consultations in an academic occupational medicine clinic.  Occ Med(Lond) 2023;73:26-28.  

Ruco A, Nichol K, Edwards B, Roy M, Morgan D, Holness DL, McKay S. Spot It, Prevent It:  Evaluation of a rapid response algorithm for managing workplace violence among homecare workers.  Workplace Health and Saf2022;70:493-499.

Ruco A, Pinto A, Nisenbaum R, Ho J, Bellicoso E, Hassen N, Hanna A, Holness DL. Using O*NET to collect occupation and screen for occupational hazards in primary care.  Am J Ind Med 2022;65:783-789.

King E, Zagrodney K, McKay S, Holness DL, Nichol K. Determinants of nurse’s and personal support worker’s adherence to facial protective equipment in a community setting during the COVID-19 pandemic: a pilot study.  Am J Inf Control 2023;51:490-497.

Ahmad S, House R, Holness DL, Nisenbaum R, Thompson A. Evaluation of Neurological Testing for Workers with Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome.  Occ Med(Lond) 2023;73:36-41.

Fazel SS, Fenton S Braun N, Forsman-Phillips L, Holness DL, Kalia S, Arrandale VH, Tentake T, Peters CE.Tailored sun safety messages for outdoor workers.  Safe Health Work 2023:14:43-49.

Zagrodney KAP, King EC, Mohammed ETCL, Nichol KA, Holness DL. Occupational hand dermatitis in health care: development and evaluation of an online training e-module. Dermatitis 2023;34:413-418.

Slot N, Tenkate T, Forsman-Phillips L, Arrandale VH, Kalia S, Holness DL, Peters CE. Barriers and facilitators in the creation of a surveillance system for solar radiation-induced skin cancers.  New Solutions 2023 33:7-24.

Zhang Y, Rajaram N, Lau A, Mehta K, Holness DL, Tarlo SM, Arrandale VH. Silicosis asbestosis and pulmonary fibrosis in Ontario from 1996-2019.  Am J Ind Med 2023;66:670-678.

Nizzer S, Ruco A, Moreira N, Holness DL, Nichol K, King E, McKay S. “You have to be careful about every detail”: How the COVID-19 pandemic shaped the experiences of personal support workers working in homecare.  J Occup Environ Med 2023;65:e604-e609.

Ho J, Ruco A, Nisenbaum R, Bellicoso E, Hassen N, Hanna A, Holness DL, Pinto A. Screening questions for workplace precarity for primary care.  Ann Fam Med  2024;22:26-30.

DeKoven B, Gomez P, Kulda I, DeKoven J, Skotnicki S, Holness DL. Usefulness of a “workplace prescription” as a resource for return-to-work.  Contact Dermatitis 2024;90:182-184.

Clynick M, Holness DL. New causes of allergic occupational contact dermatitis.  Curr Opin Aller Clin Immunol 2024;24:51-57.

Holness DL, Thompson AMS, Liss G. Workplace Champions Program. Occup Med(Lond)  2024;74:142-145.

Van Belle TA, King EC, Roy M, Michener M, Hung V, Zagrodney KAP, McKay SM, Holness DL, Nichol K.Factors influencing nurses’ adherence to facial protective equipment usage: a comprehensive review.  Am J Inf Con, in press.