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EC number: 300-644-5
CAS number: 93951-21-4
Some not well-documented cases of occupational asthma or eczema occurred at high exposure levels.
5 cases of occupational eczema, urticaria and respiratory
disease from reactive dyes, occurring during 1977-1987,
are reported. The patients, 4 men and 1 woman, were 24-52
years old when examined. They had been working in dye
houses or textile plants, and had been exposed to reactive
dyes for 8 months to 4 years before symptoms developed.
Only 1 of the patients has been able to continue in the
same occupation. On patch testing, the 4 patients with
eczema reacted positively to 9 commercial dye powders. 2
patients reacted to the same dye, Remazol Schwarz B. On
scratch and/or prick testing, the 2 patients who also had
respiratory symptoms and/or urticaria reacted positively
to the same dyes as on patch testing. The 5th patient, who
had urticaria and respiratory symptoms, reacted positively
to a dye, Remazol Gold Gelb RNL, but the patch test with
that dye was negative. None of the patients was
patch-test-positive to para-phenylenediamine (PPD) or to
textile dye allergens in a series of organic dyes. Thus,
the series of organic dyes has little value in the
screening of allergy to reactive dyes. A 1% pet. dilution
of commercial dye powder for patch testing and the same
concentration in distilled water for prick testing seem to
be suitable for the screening of allergy to reactive dyes.
A 56-year-old man with no history of atopy had
worked since he was 30 years old in a small chemical
company which manufactures a number of chemical products
such as detergents, brake fluids, dental cream, etc. Some
years ago the company started production of textile dyes
containing different reactive dyes. He developed rhinitis
and cough, and 1 year later eczema on his hands and the
front of the neck. When he was on sick leave, the eczema
and respiratory symptoms disappeared.
Patch testing with the ICDRG standard series was
negative. Positive tests were obtained to several reactive
dyes, Levafix brilliant blue E-BRA (+), Levafix marinblau
E-2BA (+ +), and the different types of Levafix black,
E-G, 5-GA, E-B; all 3 were positive (+ ). Immediate-type
hypersensitivity to reactive dyes.
Prick tests with l0 common allergens gave a positive
reaction (+ + +) to birch pollen, equal to the positive
reference (10 mg of histamine hydrochloride/ml). 3 samples
of reactive dyes from the “Levafix" series were chosen for
prick tests. Conjugates of dyes and HSA (human serum
albumin) were first used. The 3 Levafix dyes gave weakly
(+) positive reactions. The Levafix black E-G and E-B and
marinblau E-2BA, gave strong (+ + + +) prick test
reactions when tested without HSA in a concentration of 10
mg/ml. RAST tests against the reactive dyes were negative.
Total IgE was elevated at 380 kU/l. Metacholine bronchial
challenge test was weakly positive. The patient now has a
new job without exposure to reactive dyes; his eczema and
respiratory symptoms have disappeared.
A case of occupational asthma in a wool and cotton dyer handling
reactive dyes is described. The patient was skin positive, but
asymptomatic to house dust mites. A bromoacrilamidic dye (Lanasol Yellow
4G) has been identified through chamber inhalation challenge as being
responsible for the sensitization. A very short (4-minute) exposure
produced a severe immediate obstructive ventilatory defect followed by
arterial hypotension and urticaria. Bronchial hyperresponsiveness as
tested through metacholine challenge was absent both in basal conditions
and after the dye challenge. Both prick and patch test for the dye were
positive in the absence of any sign of contact dermatitis.
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