Author(s): Kawakami T, Isama K, Ikarashi Y
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Abstract Recently, cases of contact dermatitis that were related to the use of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) cooling towels containing isothiazolinone preservatives were reported in Japan. The aim of this investigation was to analyze the concentrations of five different isothiazolinone compounds present in PVA towels and to assess the effectiveness of washing in removing the preservatives from new towels prior to being used for the first time. Twenty-seven PVA towels were used in this study. Two groups (i.e., laboratory-simulation and volunteer) of washing experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of washing procedures. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were performed by LC/MS/MS, which detected 2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one (MI) and 5-chloro-2-methyl-4-isothaizolin-3-one (CMI) in 23 samples (MI: 0.29-154 μg g-wet(-1), CMI: 2.2-467 μg g-wet(-1)), 2-n-octyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one (OIT) in one sample (478 μg g-wet(-1)). The compounds 4,5-Dichloro-2-n-octyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one (2Cl-OIT) and 1,2-benzisothiazolin-3-one (BIT) were not detected in all samples. We confirmed the presence of residual MI, CMI, and OIT in the washed towels, and the residual-to-original content ratio of OIT was higher than that of MI and CMI in PVA towels, due to the higher hydrophobicity of OIT than MI and CMI. A concern has been raised about the occurrence of contact dermatitis being caused by the use of PVA towels. It is suggested that a detailed description of isothiazolinone preservatives in PVA towels and an effective washing procedure for the removal of these preservatives should be provided by the manufacturer. Further, alternative non-sensitizing preservatives might be considered for the manufacture of PVA cooling towels in the future.
This article was published in J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng
and referenced in Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry