Sources of Information on the Occurrence of Chemical Contact Allergens
Information on the occurrence of chemical contact allergens is necessary for the prevention and treatment of allergic contact dermatitis. The ideal situation is access to a reliable, easy and quick detection and identification of contact allergens in the environment. Each different method used to obtain this information has its own advantages and drawbacks depending on the nature or the origin of the allergen(s) and product(s) in question and the context in which the information will be used. For example, in the clinical elucidation of the cause of allergic contact dermatitis, a throughout chemical separation and identification of constituents in a complex product is the ideal for revealing the offending allergen. For governmental agencies planning regulation of population exposure to allergens, overviews on exposure, based on national databases of chemical products and including information on product composition for the relevant product categories, will be much more useful. Ideally, all products should be labelled with ingredient listings including all contact allergens. For cosmetics, this situation is partly realised through the 6th Amendment of the European Union (EU) Cosmetics Directives, although fragrances are not included in the declaration. For chemical products, the value of the labelling is reduced by the threshold of 1% given in the Dangerous Preparations Directive for labelling of products containing skin sensitisers (R43 “may cause contact sensitisation by skin contact”).
KeywordsEuropean Union Contact Dermatitis Product Category Chemical Product Allergic Contact Dermatitis
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