Contact Allergy to Acrylates

University dissertation from Dep of Dermatology, Lund University

Abstract: Acrylate contact allergy has been frequently reported since the 1970s, with hundreds of articles published in dermatology journals so far. The purpose of this thesis was to investigate the frequency of contact allergy to acrylates / methacrylates in patients with exposure to industrial, dental and nail uses of these substances. We also aimed to investigate the clinical and chemical aspects of patch testing with acrylate / methacrylate allergens with special interest 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (2-HEMA), methyl methacrylate (MMA), ethyleneglycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA), triethyleneglycol diacrylate (TREGDA), and 2-hydroxypropyl acrylate (2-HPA). 2-HEMA was the commonest allergen among acrylate-allergic dental patients and dental personnel. The most common allergens in the industrial acrylate setting were TREGDA, diethyleneglycol diacrylate (DEGDA), and 1,4-butanediol diacrylate (BUDA). Among the nail acrylics patients, the most common allergens were EGDMA, 2-HEMA, and triethyleneglycol dimethacrylate (TREGDMA). When we had screened for our 5 allergens of interest in the baseline series in 2 centres for approximately 2 years, we found that 38 patients had positive reactions during the study period in both populations. In Malmö, there were 26 (1.4%) patients while in Singapore, there were 12 (1.0%) patients with positive patch tests at least one of these 5 allergens. When we tested patch test preparations from different centres around the world, we found that for the more volatile acrylate allergens, MMA and 2-HPA, the measured concentrations in the samples were below the acceptable range of 80% or more of the stated concentration, while most of the other less volatile allergens (2-HEMA, EGDMA and TREGDA) were within the acceptable range. We also found that the concentration of allergens in IQ chambers decreased much more rapidly than in the syringes and that the decrease in allergen concentration was most rapid in room temperature, followed by refrigerator and freezer i.e the higher the temperature, the faster the allergen loss.

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