alexa Nickel, chromium and cobalt in consumer products: revisiting safe levels in the new millennium.

Journal of Autacoids and Hormones

Author(s): Basketter DA, Angelini G, Ingber A, Kern PS, Menn T

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Abstract The transition metals nickel (Ni), chromium (Cr) and cobalt (Co) are common causes of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). Given the high frequency with which these allergens can be associated with hand eczema in those responsible for domestic work, it has been suggested that contamination of household consumer products with these metals may be of relevance to the causation/chronicity of hand dermatitis. Dose-response studies using 48 h occlusive patch test conditions in sensitized individuals show that >/=90\% of sensitized patients fail to react below 1 p.p.m., even on irritated skin. Assessment under more realistic exposure conditions has shown that in the presence of irritants and/or following repeated exposures, such individuals rarely react to levels below 10 p.p.m. On the basis of this information, it was recommended a decade ago that household (and other consumer) products should not contain more than 5 p.p.m. of each of Ni, Cr or Co and that, for an even greater degree of protection, the ultimate target level should be 1 p.p.m. The data generated since the original recommendations were made serve to reinforce the validity of these recommendations. Indeed, it is our view that typically the level of each of these transition metals should not normally exceed 1 p.p.m. Then, where consumer products meet this guideline fully, modern quantitative risk assessment shows clearly that elicitation of ACD is highly improbable, and the chance of the induction of sensitization is even lower.
This article was published in Contact Dermatitis and referenced in Journal of Autacoids and Hormones

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