Plastics are usually nontoxic and stable in ambient conditions. Occupational dermatoses occur mostly during the technological processes for producing plastics. Amino-plastics (e.g., urea-formaldehyde resin, melamine-formaldehyde resin) are of low toxicity. Phenol-formaldehyde resins can produce allergic contact dermatitis in 10% of exposed workers. Patch testing to formaldehyde resins gives false negative results in many cases. Para-tertiary-butyl-phenol-formaldehyde resins are used mainly as adhesives. Severe allergic skin reactions with systemic involvement can occur in occupational settings. Melamine-formaldehyde resins can be involved in contact dermatitis, formaldehyde being the primary irritant and sensitizer. Polycarbonates were reported in isolated cases of orthoergic or allergic contact dermatitis. Polyamide resins rarely induce skin allergies or irritation, even in conditions of prolonged contact (e.g., compression stockings for workers in standing position). Half of the workers inadequately protected when exposed to polyester fibers develop allergic contact dermatitis. Styrene acts as primary irritant by destroying the protective lipid film of the skin surface. Polyurethane resins are rarely involved in skin conditions but the resins manufacture can cause allergic and irritative dermatitis. Diagnostic skin tests need careful interpretation as cross-reactivity was described between isocyanates (components of polyurethane resins) and their corresponding amines.
Polyolefins (thermoplastic resins obtained by polyaddition of olefins) can be involved in occupational contact dermatitis mainly when incompletely cured or in hot conditions due to depolimerization. Sicca syndrome and epidermal necrolysis were also described.
Primary prevention to occupational dermatoses induced by plastics involves health and safety instruction of the workers and the use of masks and gloves to avoid contact with the low molecular weight reagents. It is important to constantly improve the technological process by the replacement of harmful adjuvants with less dangerous ones. Secondary prevention is performed by the medical team that treats and makes recommendations to the affected workers.
KeywordsAmino plastics Formaldehyde Polyolefins Contact dermatitis Anaphylaxis Vitiligo
- Bruze M, Fregert S (1994) Chemical skin burns. In: Menne T, Maibach HI (eds) Hand eczema. CRC Press, Boca Raton, p 21Google Scholar
- Bucur L, Bucur G (2006) Probleme de toxicologie profesionall dermatologicc. Efecte generale apperal prin absorbbso cutanatt a unor substanns toxice de uz profesional. In: Bucur G, Bucur L, S cur iona C, Tiplica GS (eds) Dermatoze profesionale. Niculescu, Bucharest, pp 349–358Google Scholar
- Foussereau J, Benezra CJ (1970) Les Eczemas professionnels. Masson, ParisGoogle Scholar
- Funderburg AC (2000) Making teflon stick. Invention and Technology Magazine 16(1):10–20Google Scholar
- Hamada H, Bruze M, Zimerson E, Isaksson M, Engfeldt M (2017) Sensitization and cross-reactivity patterns of contact allergy to diisocyanates and corresponding amines: investigation of diphenylmethane-4,4′-diisocyanate, diphenylmethane-4,4′-diamine, dicyclohexylmethane-4,4′-diisocyanate, and dicylohexylmethane-4,4′-diamine. Contact Dermatitis 77(4):231–241PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Isaksson M, Ale I, Andersen K, Diepgen T, Elsner P, Goossens A, Goh CL, Jerajani H, Maibach H, Matsunaga K, McFadden J, Nixon R, Sasseville D, Bruze M, International Contact Dermatitis Research Group (2015) Multicenter patch testing with a resol resin based on phenol and formaldehyde within the International Contact Dermatitis Research Group. Dermatitis 26(5):230–234PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kanerva L, Björkner B, Estlander T et al (1996) Plastic materials: occupational exposure, skin irritancy and its prevention. In: van der Valk PGM, Maibach HI (eds) The irritant contact dermatitis syndrome. CRC Press, Boca Raton, p 127Google Scholar
- Niculescu T, Todea A, Toma I, Pavel A, Niculescu R (2003) Intoxicaţia profesională cu stiren. In: Medicina muncii. Medmun, Bucharest, pp 210–211Google Scholar
- Özkaya E, Kılıç S (2017) Polyethylene glycol as marker for nitrofurazone allergy: 20 years of experience from Turkey. Contact Dermatitis Wiley; PMID: 29193145Google Scholar
- Rietschel RL, Fowler JF (2008) Teflon. In: Rietschel RL, Fowler JF (eds) Fisher’s contact dermatitis, 6th edn. McGraw Hill, New York, p 335, 422, 542, 680, 688, 673Google Scholar
- Rudnick M (2009) Material safety data sheets. Product name: Dry PTFE Lube (aerosol). Product number (s): 03044, 73044. CRC industries: 670/670A. Revision date: 22 July 2009Google Scholar
- Rusu A (2009) Masele plastice. In: Cocârlă A (ed) Medicina ocupaţională, vol II. Medicală Universitară “Iuliu Haţieganu”, Cluj-Napoca, pp 1399–1423Google Scholar
- Schmunes E (1990) Solvents and plasticizers. In: Adams RM (ed) Occupational skin diseases, 2nd edn. WB Saunders, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
- Svara J, Weferling N, Hofmann T (2006) Phosphorus compounds, organic. In: Ullmann′s encyclopedia of industrial chemistry. Wiley-VCH, WeinheimGoogle Scholar
- Williams LL (2002) Amino resins and plastics. In: Kirk-Othmer encyclopedia of chemical technology. Wiley, HobokenGoogle Scholar