Assessment of cross-reactivity of new less sensitizing epoxy resin monomers in epoxy resin-allergic individuals

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Abstract

Background.

Measures to prevent occupational exposure to epoxy resins, including education, medical examination, and voluntary agreements between employers and workers, have not been effective enough to protect against skin sensitization. Therefore, alternatives to the major epoxy resin haptens that have been found to be less sensitizing in the local lymph node assay have been developed.

Objectives.

To study the cross-reactivity of two newly designed epoxy resin monomers, with decreased skin-sensitizing potency and good technical properties as compared with diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA), in subjects with known contact allergy to epoxy resin of DGEBA type.

Patients and Methods.

Eleven individuals with previous positive patch test reactions to epoxy resin of DGEBA participated in the study. The two alternative epoxy resin monomers were synthesized and patch tested in dilution series in parallel with epoxy resin of DGEBA from the baseline series (containing 92% DGEBA).

Results.

All participants reacted to epoxy resin of DGEBA on retesting. Three participants reacted to monomer 1. No reactions were seen to monomer 2.

Conclusions.

The alternative monomers studied showed little or no cross-reactivity with epoxy resin of DGEBA. Decreasing the risk of sensitization by using less sensitizing compounds is important, as contact allergy to epoxy resins is common in spite of thorough preventive measures.

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