Metal Exposure Regulations and Their Effect on Allergy Prevention

  • Kate Heim
  • David Basketter


Primary prevention of allergy focuses on minimising the risk of induction, which also ensures the clinical disease is not elicited. Where this fails to protect human health, limiting the elicitation of allergic disease (secondary prevention) may be necessary. For metal allergens, only nickel and chromium have been subject to significant legal restriction to limit allergy, notably in the European Union. The trigger for both was an unacceptable incidence of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), with the legislation intending to significantly limit the expression of ACD and thus also to limit new induction of allergy to either of the two metal allergens. Current evidence shows a positive impact of the regulations on the amount of allergy, but the overall picture is complicated, even confounded, by poor enforcement, notably for nickel, and the reality of multiple other sources of exposure for chromium salts.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NiPERADurhamUSA
  2. 2.DABMEB Consultancy LtdSharnbrookUK

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