Plastic Composites

  • K. Tarvainen
  • L. Kanerva


Composites are combinations of two or more materials that are not dissolved or melted together. Plastic composites (PC) are manufactured by combining materials at least one of which is of plastic origin. Today a PC product usually has a sandwich structure that consists of several variable layers of reinforcing manmade mineral fibres (MMMF) and matrix polymer materials. MMMFs increase the strength of the final product. The matrix binds reinforcing fibres and protects fine filaments from corrosion, oxidation or other forms of environmental degradation (Kelly 1994; Tarvainen and Kanerva 1999). Newer PC products can contain a nonplastic part, e.g. steel, stone, cement or wood. In dental composites, inorganic materials, e.g. glass particles, are embedded in acrylic plastic (Kanerva et al. 1989). The most common PCs are reinforced plastics, in which thermosetting resins, e.g. unsaturated polyester resins, epoxy resins and vinyl ester resins, are the most frequently used matrix resins (Table 1).


Contact Dermatitis Unsaturated Polyester Natural Rubber Latex Phthalic Anhydride Unsaturated Polyester Resin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adams RM (ed) (1990) Occupational skin diseases, 2nd edn. Grun & Stratton Inc., New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Antonson A-B, Runmark S (1987) Airborne fibrous glass and dust originating from worked reinforced plastics. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 48:684–687CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ayala F, Lembo G, Balato N, Patruno C, Scognamiglio G, Strazzullo G, De Stefano S (1990) The use of laboratory methods in contact dermatitis induced by composite materials. Contact Dermatitis 22:262–266PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bender JR, Konzen JL, Devit GF (1991) Occupational exposure, toxic properties and work practice guideline for fiberglass. American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), AkronGoogle Scholar
  5. Bernstein IL, Bernstein DI (1984) Respiratory allergy to synthetic resins. Clin Immunol Allergy 4:83–101Google Scholar
  6. Berode M, Droz P-O, Guillemin M (1985) Human exposure to styrene, VI. Percutaneous absorption in human volunteers. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 55:331–336PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Björkner B (1982) Sensitizing capacity of polyester methacrylate in ultraviolet curing inks tested in the Guinea pig. Acta Derm Venereol 62:153–182PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Björkner B (1984) Sensitizing capacity of ultraviolet curable acrylic compounds. MD thesis. University of Lund, pp 1–78Google Scholar
  9. Björkner B (1992) Plastic materials. In: Rycroft RJG, Menné T, Frosch PJ, Benezra C (eds) Textbook of contact dermatitis. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 539–572Google Scholar
  10. Björnberg A (1985) Glass-fiber dermatitis. Am J Ind Med 8: 395–400PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Boenig H (1964) Unsaturated polyesters: structure and properties. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 6–13Google Scholar
  12. Bord A, Castellain P-Y (1967) Les dermatoses professionnelles dans l’industrie aéronautique. Rev Fr Allergol 7:85–91PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Bourne L, Milner F (1963) Polyester resin hazards. Br J Ind Med 20:100–109PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Bowen RL (1962) Dental filling material comprising vilnyl silane treated fused silica and a binder consisting of reaction product of bisphenol and glycidyl acrylate, US Pat. 3,066,112Google Scholar
  15. Brigham CR, Landrigan PJ (1985) Safety and health in boatbuilding and repair. Am J Ind Med 8:169–182PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bruze M, Almgren G (1989) Occupational dermatoses in workers exposed to epoxy-impregnated fiberglass fabric. Derm Beruf Umwelt 37:171–175PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Bruze M, Fregert S (1994) Chemical skin burn. In: Menne T, Maibach HI (eds) Hand eczema. CRC, Boca Raton, pp 21–30Google Scholar
  18. Bruze M, Edenholm M, Engtröm K, Svensson G (1996) Occupational dermatoses in a Swedish aircraft plant. Contact Dermatitis 34:336–340PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Burrows D, Fregert S, Cambell H, Trulsson L (1984) Contact dermatitis from the epoxy resins tetraglycidyl-4,4/-methylene dianiline and o-diglycidyl phthalate in composite material. Contact Dermatitis 11:80–82PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ceska M, Lundkvist U (1972) A new and simple radioimmunoassay method for determination of IgE. Immunochemistry 9:1021–1030PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Conde-Salazar L, Gonzales M, Guimaraens D, Romero L (1989) Occupational allergic contact dermatitis from styrene. Contact Dermatitis 21:112PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. De Groot AC (1994) Patch testing. Test concentrations and vehicles for 3700 chemicals, 2nd edn. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  23. Dooms-Goosens A, De Jong G (1985) Letter to editor. Contact Dermatitis 12:238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Doyle EJ (1989) Suggested strategies in screening for health effects in personnel who work with composites. Appl Ind Hyg 12:64–67Google Scholar
  25. Eby CS, Jetton RL (1972) School desk dermatitis. Primary irritant contact dermatitis to fiberglass. Arch Dermatol 105:890–891PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Estlander T, Jolanki R (1988) How to protect the hands. Dermatol Clin 6:105–114PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Estlander T, Kostiainen M, Jolanki R, Kanerva L (1998) Active sensitization and occupational allergic contact dermatitis caused by paratertiary butyhlcatechol. Contact Dermatitis (in press)Google Scholar
  28. Fischer T, Fregert S, Thulin I, Trulsson (1987) Unhardened epoxy resin in tool handles. Contact Dermatitis 16:45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fisher AA (1986) Contact dermatitis, 3rd edn. Lea & Febiger, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  30. Forsberg K (1991) Guide for val av kemskyddsmaterial. Ord &; Form AB, UppsalaGoogle Scholar
  31. Freeman S (1986) Contact dermatitis of a limb stump caused by p-tertiary butyl catechol in the artificial limb. Contact Dermatitis 14:68–69PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Fregert S (1971) Outbreak of irritant contact dermatitis from diallylphthalate in polyester resin. Contact Dermatitis Newslett 10:234Google Scholar
  33. Fregert S, Persson K, Trulsson L (1980) Hidden sources of unhardened epoxy resin of Bisphenol A type. Contact Dermatitis 6:446–447PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Gonçalo S, Gonçalo M, Matos J, Marçues C (1992) Contact dermatitis from a billiard cue. Contact Dermatitis 26:263–283PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Götell P, Axelson O, Lindelöf B (1972) Field studies on human styrene exposure. Work Environ Health 9:76–83Google Scholar
  36. Handley J, Burrows D (1994) Dermatitis from hexavalent Chromate in the accelerator of an epoxy sealant (PR1422) used in the aircraft industry. Contact Dermatitis 30:193–196PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hass U, Jacobsen BM, Brandorff NP, et al. (1991) Reproductive toxicants in the working environment (in Danish with English summary). AMI-report no.35/1991. National Institute of Occupational Health, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  38. Heino T, Haapa K, Manelius F (1996) Contact sensitization to organosilane solution in glass filament production. Contact Dermatitis 34:294PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Holness L, Nethercott JR (1989) Occupational contact dermatitis due to epoxy resin in a fiberglass binder. J Occup Med 31:87–89PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Horio T, Tanaka K, Komura J (1977) Depigmentation due to para-tertiary butylcatechol. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 39: 127–133PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Howe W, Venables KM, Topping MD, Dally MB, Hawking R, Laws JS, Newman Taylor AJ (1983) Tetrachlorophthalic anhydride asthma: evidence for specific IgE antibody. J Allergy Clin Immunol 71:5–11PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Jirásek L (1962) Polyesterové pryskyrice a skelné laminâty. Prac Lek 3:120–124Google Scholar
  43. Jolanki R (1991) Occupational skin diseases from epoxy compounds. Epoxy resin compounds, epoxy acrylates and 2,3-epoxypropyl trimethyl ammonium chloride. Acta Derm Venereol Suppl (Stockh) 159:1–80Google Scholar
  44. Jolanki R, Estlander T, Kanerva L (1987) Occupational contact dermatitis and contact urticaria caused by epoxy resins. Acta Derm Venereol Suppl (Stockh) 134:90–94Google Scholar
  45. Jolanki R, Estlander R, Kanerva L, Tarvainen K (1992) Occupational allergic contact dermatitis caused by a finished reinforced polyester plastic product. In: Proceedings of the 18th World Congress of Dermatology. New York City, June 12–18Google Scholar
  46. Jolanki R, Kanerva L, Estlander T (1995) Occupational allergic contact dermatitis caused by epoxy diacrylate in ultraviolet-light-cured paint, and bisphenol A in dental composite resin. Contact Dermatitis 33:94–99PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Jolanki R, Tarvainen K, Tatar T, Estlander T, Henriks-Eckerman M-L, Mustakallio KK, Kanerva L (1996) Occupational dermatoses from exposure to epoxy resin compounds in a ski factory. Contact Dermatitis 34:390–396PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kalimo K, Liira J, Nordman H, Engström B, Halmepuro L, Kaila T (1990) IgE-mediated allergy to methyltetrahydrophthalic anhydride among workers producing electrical components. Contact Dermatitis 23:280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Kanerva L, Jolanki R, Estlander T (1986) Occupational dermatitis due to an epoxy acrylate. Contact Dermatitis 14:80–84PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Kanerva L, Estlander T, Jolanki R (1989) Allergic contact dermatitis from dental composite resins due to aromatic epoxy acrylates and aliphatic acrylates. Contact Dermatitis 20:201–211PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Kanerva L, Jolanki R, Tupasela O, Halmepuro L, Keskinen H, Estlander T, Sysilampi M-L (1991) Immediate and delayed allergy from epoxy resins based on diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A. Scand J Work Environ Health 17:208–215PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Kanerva L, Estlander T, Jolanki R (1996) Occupational allergic contact dermatitis caused by 2,4,6-tris-(dimethylaminomethyl)phenol, and a review of sensitizing epoxy resin hardeners. Int J Dermatol 35:852–856PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Kelly E (1994) Applications of composites. In: Kelly E (ed) Concise encyclopedia of composite material. Pergamon, Oxford, pp 7–9Google Scholar
  54. Key MM, Perone VB, Birmingham DJ (1961) Patch testing in dermatitis from the newer resins. J Occup Med 3:361–364PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Koh D, Aw TC, Foulds IS (1992) Fiberglass dermatitis from printed circuit boards. Am J Ind Med 21:193–198PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Konzen JL (1987) Fiberglass and the skin. In: Maibach HI (ed) Occupational and industrial dermatology, 2nd edn. Year Book Medical, Chicago, pp 282–285Google Scholar
  57. Lachapelle JM, Tennstedt D, Dumont-Fruytier M (1978) Occupational allergic contact dermatitis to isophoronediamine (IPD) used as an epoxy resin hardener. Contact Dermatitis 4:109–112PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Lembo G, Balato N, Cusano, Baldo A, Ayala F (1989) Contact dermatitis to epoxy resins in composite material. In: Frosch PJ, Dooms-Goossens A, Lachapelle J-M, Rycroft RJG, Scheper RJ (eds) Current topics in contact dermatitis. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 377–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Lidén C, Löfström A, Storgârds-Hatam K (1984) Contact allergy to unsaturated polyester in a boat builder. Contact Dermatitis 11:262–264PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Lieber EE (1955) Dermatitis-an industrial problem. Br Plastics 28:428–429Google Scholar
  61. MacFarlane AW, Curley RK, King CM (1986) Contact sensitivity to unsaturated polyester resin in a limb prosthesis. Contact Dermatitis 15:301–303PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Malten KE (1956) Beroepsekseem, bij het verwerken van kunstoffen in het biezonder van onverzadigde polyester harsen en aethoxyline harsen Doctoral dissertation (English summary). University of Amsterdam, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  63. Malten KE (1964) Einige Bemerkungen zur Hautsensibilisierung durch Aethoxylin (Epoxyd)-Kunstharze und deren Prophylaxe. Berufsdermatosen 2:78–85Google Scholar
  64. Malten KE, Zielhuis R (1964) Polyester resins. In: Malten KE, Zielhuis R (eds) Industrial toxicology and dermatology in the production and processing of plastics. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 71–84Google Scholar
  65. Mathias CGT (1987) Allergic contact dermatitis from a nonbis- phenol A epoxy in a graphite fiber reinforced epoxy laminate. J Occup Med 29:754–755PubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Meneghini CL, Rantuccio F, Riboldi A (1963) Klinisch-all-ergologischen Beobactungen bei beruflichen ekzematösen Kontakt-Dermatosen. Derm Beruf Umwelt 11:181–244Google Scholar
  67. Midtgård U, Knudsen LE (1994) Fibre-reinforced plastics and advanced polymer composites. Occupational hazards and toxity of selected compounds. Nordic Council of Ministers and National Institute of Occupational Health, Copenhagen, pp 1–73Google Scholar
  68. Moroni P, Tomasini M (1992) Contact leukoderma induced by occupational contact with fibre-glass and polyester resins with quinones and tertiary butylcatechol. Dermatosen 40: 195–197Google Scholar
  69. Nethercott JR, Jacubovic HR, Pilger C, Smith JW (1983) Allergic contact dermatitis due to urethane acrylate in ultraviolet cured inks. Br J Ind Med 40:241–250PubMedGoogle Scholar
  70. Possick PA, Gellin GA, Key MM (1970) Fibrous glass dermatitis. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 31:12–15PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Rolston JA (1980) Fiberglass composite materials and fabrication processes. Chem Eng 87:96–100Google Scholar
  72. Schmunes E (1990) Solvents and plasticizers. In: Adams RM (ed) Occupational skin disease, 2nd edn. Saunders, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  73. Sjöborg S, Dahlquist I, Fregert S, Trulson L (1982) Contact allergy to styrene with cross reaction to vinyltoluene. Contact Dermatitis 8:207–208PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Suhonen R (1983) Epoxy-dermatitis in a ski-stick factory. Contact Dermatitis 9:131–133PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Tarvainen K, Jolanki R, Estlander T (1993a) Occupational contact allergy to unsaturated polyester resin cements. Contact Dermatitis 28:220–224PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Tarvainen K, Jolanki R, Forsman-Grönholm L, Estlander T, Pfäffli P, Juntunen J, Kanerva L (1993b) Exposure, skin protection and occupational skin diseases in the glass-fibre reinforced plastics industry. Contact Dermatitis 29:119–127PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Tarvainen K, Estlander T, Jolanki R, Kanerva L (1994) Occupational dermatoses caused by man-made mineral fibers. Am J Contact Dermat 5:22–29Google Scholar
  78. Tarvainen K, Kanerva L, Jolanki R, Estlander T (1995a) Occupational dermatoses from the manufacture of plastic composite products. Am J Contact Dermat 6:95–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Tarvainen K, Jolanki R, Estlander T, Tupasela O, Pfäffli P, Kanerva L (1995b) Immunologic contact urticaria due to airborne methylhexahydrophthalic and methyl tetrahydro-phthalic anhydrides. Contact Dermatitis 32:204–209PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Tarvainen K, Kanerva L (1999) Occupational dermatoses from plastic composites. J Environ Med 1:3–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Toffoletto F, Cortona G, Feltrin G, Baj A, Goggi E, Cecchetti R (1994) Occupational contact dermatitis from amine-functional metoxysilane in continuous-glass-filament production. Contact Dermatitis 31:320–321PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Wehle U (1966) Arbeitsbedingte Ekzeme durch Polyester. Allerg Asthma (Leipz) 12:184–186Google Scholar
  83. Vincenzi C, Cameli N, Vassilopoulou A, Tosti A (1991) Allergic contact dermatitis due to benzoyl peroxide in an arm prosthesis. Contact Dermatitis 24:66–67PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Tarvainen
  • L. Kanerva

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations