Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
We studied 3 contact sensitizers present in rubber products, ethylbutyl thiourea (EBT), 2-mercapto-benzothiazole (MBT) and 2,2-dithio-bis-benzothiazole (MBTS), to relate the amount orsensitizer eliciting allergic contact dermatitis to the quantity leaching from a product into various biological fluids: normal saline, human plasma and 3 synthetic sweat solutions of pH 5.5 to 7.5. To determine the amount of sensitizer remaining after leaching, Soxhlet extraction with acetonitrile was subsequently performed. High-performance liquid chromatography was used for chemical analysis. 12 MBT-sensitive patients were patch tested with serial dilutions of MBT and MBTS in petrolatum. A Latin Square design was used in statistical analysis of variance of the patch test results. Large amounts of thioureas leached from 2 rubber articles eliciting thiourea dermatitis, the literature suggesting that these would have been well above the elicitation threshold. Leaching of MBTS was relatively greater than MBT into most media, whereas MBT was a more potent elicitor than MBTS at equivalent concentrations. The lowest eliciting concentration of MBT in 1 subject was 0.01%. Such information should prove helpful to manufacturers in designed products that do not release allergens sufficiently to cause reactions in consumers.
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