[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previously, a quantitative risk assessment suggested there was no risk of induction of fragrance allergy from minor residues of fragrance chemicals on washed fabrics.
To investigate whether there was any risk of the elicitation of contact allergy from fragrance chemical residues on fabric in individuals who were already sensitized.
Thirty-six subjects with a positive patch test to isoeugenol (n = 19) or hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde (n = 17) were recruited. Dose-response and fabric patch tests were performed, respectively, with filter paper and a cotton sample loaded with fragrance in ethanol-diethylphthalate (DEP) and applied in a Finn Chamber or a Hill Top Chamber.
Only two subjects reacted to an isoeugenol patch test concentration of 0.01% (>20x the estimated likely skin exposure level), none reacted to lower concentrations. Of 36 subjects, 18 reacted to the fabric patch treated with ethanol-DEP vehicle alone and 20 to the fragrance-chemical-treated fabric patch. These were only minor non-specific skin reactions. They were also quite evenly distributed between the two fragrance chemical allergic groups.
On the basis of the examples studied, fragrance chemical residues present on fabric do not appear to present a risk of the elicitation of immediate or delayed allergic skin reactions on individuals already sensitized.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prevalence of contact allergy to fragrance ingredients increased during the last part of the 20th century with the consequence that a substantial number of individuals are at risk of experiencing allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) if they have a sufficient degree of skin exposure to the chemical to which they have become sensitized. Such exposure does not necessarily have to arise from the type of source that originally induced the sensitization. A number of sources of exposure are clearly associated with risk of elicitation of ACD, but the role of fragrance deposited on fabrics, for example as a result of laundry processes, also can be questioned. In this article, firstly, the risk of the induction of fragrance-related ACD from exposure to fragrance via fabric is considered. Using a quantitative risk-assessment approach, the risk appears to be extremely low. The possibility that fragrance residues on laundered fabrics might elicit reactions in those already sensitized by a different route is also discussed. Clinically, clothing pattern dermatitis associated with fragrance allergy is almost never observed, although this could be investigated clinically by exposing sensitized individuals to the relevant fragrance allergen.