Dictionary of Contact Allergens Chemical Structures Sources and References

Eczema Free Forever

Eczema Free Forever Manual by Rachel Anderson

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Christophe J. Le Coz, Jean-Pierre Lepoittevin

1.1 Introduction

This chapter has been written in order to familiarize the reader with the chemical structure of chemicals implicated in contact dermatitis, mainly as haptens responsible for allergic contact dermatitis. For each molecule, the principal name is used for classification. We have also listed the most important synonym(s), the Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) Registry Number that characterizes the substance, and its chemical structure. The reader will find one or more relevant literature references. As it was not possible to be exhaustive, some allergens have been omitted since they were obsolete, extremely rarely implicated in contact dermatitis, their case reports were too imprecise, or they are extensively treated in other chapters of the textbook. From a practical chemical point of view, acrylates, cyanoacrylates and (meth)acrylates, cephalosporins, and parabens have been grouped together.

1. Abietic acid

CAS Registry Number [514-10-3]

Abietic acid is probably the major allergen of colophony, along with dehydroabietic acid, by way of oxidation products. Its detection in a material indicates that allergenic components of colophony are present.

Suggested Reading

Bergh M, Menne T, Karlberg AT (1994) Colophony in paper-based surgical clothing. Contact Dermatitis 31:332-333 Karlberg AT, Bergstedt E, Boman A, Bohlinder K, Liden C, Nilsson JLG, Wahlberg JE (1985) Is abietic acid the allergenic component of colophony? Contact Dermatitis 13: 209-215 Karlberg AT, Bohlinder K, Boman A, Hacksell U, Hermansson J, Jacobsson S, Nilsson JLG (1988) Identification of 15-hydroperoxyabietic acid as a contact allergen in Portuguese colophony. J Pharm Pharmacol 40: 42-47

2. Acetaldehyde

Acetic Aldehyde, Ethanal, Ethylic Aldehyde CAS Registry Number [75-07-0] O

Acetaldehyde, as its metabolite, is responsible for many of the effects of ethanol, such as hepatic or neurological toxicity. A case of contact allergy was reported in the textile industry, where dimeth-oxane was used as a biocide agent in textiles and its degradation led to acetaldehyde.

Suggested Reading

Eriksson CJ (2001) The role of acetaldehyde in the actions of alcohol (update 2000). Alcohol Clin Exp Res 25 [Suppl 5] :i5S-32S Shmunes E, Kempton RJ (1980) Allergic contact dermatitis to dimeth-oxane in a spin finish. Contact Dermatitis 6:421-424

3. Acrylamide

CAS Registry Number [79-06-1] O

Acrylamide is used in the plastic polymers industry, for water treatments, soil stabilization, and to prepare polyacrylamide gels for electrophoresis. This neurotoxic, carcinogenic, and genotoxic substance is known to have caused contact dermatitis in industrial and laboratory workers.

Suggested Reading

Beyer DJ, Belsito DV (2000) Allergic contact dermatitis from acrylamide in a chemical mixer. Contact Dermatitis 42:181-182 Dooms-Goossens A, Garmyn M, Degreef H (1991) Contact allergy to acrylamide. Contact Dermatitis 24:71-72 Lambert J, Mathieu L, Dockx P (1988) Contact dermatitis from acrylamide. Contact Dermatitis 19:65

4. Acrylates, Cyanoacrylate,and Methacrylates

Acrylic Acid and Acrylates

CAS Registry Number [79-10-7]


Acrylic acid


Acrylates are esters from acrylic acid. Occupational contact allergies from acrylates have frequently been reported and mainly concern workers exposed to the glues based on acrylic acid, as well as dental workers and beauticians.

Bisphenol A Diglycidylether Diacrylate

2,2-bis[4-(2-Hydroxy-3-Acryloxypropoxy)phenyl]-Propane (Bis-GA)

CAS Registry Number [8687-94-9]

Bis-GA is an epoxy diacrylate. It caused contact dermatitis in a process worker, being contained in ultraviolet-light-curable acrylic paints.

Suggested Reading

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: 94-99

Bisphenol A Glycidyl Methacrylate Bis-GMA

CAS Registry Number [1565-94-2]

CAS Registry Number [1565-94-2]

Bis-GMA is an epoxy-methacrylate. Sensitization occurs in dentists, in beauticians, and in consumers with sculptured photopoly-merizable nails.

Suggested Reading

Kanerva L, Estlander T, Jolanki R (1989) Allergic contact dermatitis from dental composite resins due to aromatic epoxy acrylates and aliphatic acrylates. Contact Dermatitis 20:201-211

1,4-Butanediol Diacrylate | o

CAS Registry Number [1070-70-8]

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