Sensitization to Rubber Accelerators in Northeastern Italy: The Triveneto Patch Test Database

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Natural and synthetic rubbers containing rubber accelerators are well-known causes of occupational skin disease. Allergic contact dermatitis caused by rubber gloves is frequent and has almost exclusively been attributed to contact sensitization to accelerators.


This study aimed to evaluate the frequency of rubber accelerators sensitization in the population living in northeastern Italy, to find time trend and a correlation with occupations, and to investigate co-sensitization between rubber accelerators.


A population of 23,774 subjects was patch tested in 6 cities in northeastern Italy in the years 1996 to 2012 using carba mix 3%, thiuram mix 1%, benzothiazole (MBT) mix 1%, and isopropyl phenyl paraphenylamine diamine (IPPD) mix 0.6%.


The overall frequency of carbamates, MBT, thiurams, and IPPD mix sensitization was 3.4%, 0.65%, 1.75%, and 0.83%, respectively. On a logistic regression analysis (control group: white-collar workers), we found a statistically significant association to carbamates (odds ratio [OR], 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03–1.7) and thiurams (OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1–2.3) for health care workers. Thiuram sensitivity was also significantly associated with dermatitis in maids and restaurant workers (OR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.4–3.6), hairdressers (OR, 3.6; 95% CI, 1.8–7.1), shop assistants (OR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.2–6.8), construction workers (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.7–4.1), mechanics (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.3–3.4), and professional drivers (OR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.2–5.9).


In conclusion, our results demonstrated that rubber accelerators have an important role in allergic contact dermatitis in the northeast of Italy and their sensitization is associated significantly with occupations that wear gloves or use chemical substances. Between rubber accelerators tested, carbamates sensitization is prevalent and increasing during considered years.

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