Nickel sensitization is frequent among US patients with dermatitis and in the general population. In Europe, decreasing prevalences of nickel sensitization are observed as a result of the European Union Nickel Directive. However, no directive exists in the United States.Objectives:
We sought to examine nickel release from inexpensive earrings and discuss possible methods of reducing nickel exposure among consumers.Methods:
A total of 34 different stores and artists were visited. A total of 277 earrings were purchased and examined with the dimethylglyoxime (DMG) test.Results:
DMG-positive earrings were identified from local artists (69%) and tourist stores (42.9%) but also chain stores targeting young (24.1%) and mature (1.7%) women. No correlation between price and outcome of DMG testing was identified.Limitations:
Our study does not reflect buying trends in the United States. Pretreatment of earrings with artificial sweat was not performed and the DMG may lead to both false-positive and false–negative results.Conclusions:
Nickel exposure from inexpensive earrings is frequent in the United States. A regulatory governmental intervention may be warranted.