Occupational allergic contact dermatitis caused by epoxy chemicals: occupations, sensitizing products, and diagnosis

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Epoxy products are among the most common causes of occupational allergic contact dermatitis. Diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A resin (DGEBA-R) is the most important sensitizer in epoxy systems.


To describe patients with occupational allergic contact dermatitis caused by epoxy products.


Patients with allergic reactions to epoxy chemicals were chosen from test files (January 1991 to June 2014). Only patients with occupational contact allergy to some component of epoxy resin systems were included. We analysed patch test results, occupation, symptoms, and exposure data.


We found a total of 209 cases with occupational contact allergy to epoxy chemicals. The largest occupational groups were painters (n = 41), floor layers (n = 19), electrical industry workers (n = 19), tile setters (n = 16), and aircraft industry workers (n = 15). A total of 82% of the patients reacted to DGEBA-R. Diagnosis of the DGEBA-R-negative patients required testing with m-xylylenediamine, N,N′-tetraglycidyl-4,4′-methylenedianiline, 1,4-butanediol diglycidyl ether, 2,4,6-tris-(dimethylaminomethyl)phenol, diglycidyl ether of bisphenol F resin, N,N′-diglycidyl-4-glycidyloxyaniline, isophoronediamine, 4,4′-diaminodiphenylmethane, diethylenetriamine, and cresyl glycidyl ether. The hands/upper extremities were most commonly affected (69%), but facial symptoms were also frequent (60%).


Allergic contact dermatitis caused by to epoxy products cannot always be diagnosed by the use of commercial test substances. Workplace products need to be tested.

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