A cluster of cases of dermatitis occurring among members of the paperhangers' union in New York City was investigated. Of the 211 members, 25 reported in response to a questionnaire that they experienced a skin problem which they felt to be work related. Lesions occurred on their hands, fingers, and forearms with itching, cracking, dryness and rash. The wallpaper paste they used was made of water, starch, refined clay, vinyl-acetate and chemical additives such as biocidal chemicals and defoaming agents. Patch tests were conducted using four additives on 11 of the paperhangers with readings at both 48 and 72 hours. Negative reactions were produced from testing these compounds with six comparison subjects. The most reactive additive in the patch tests on paperhangers appeared to be 2-((hydroxymethyl)amino)ethanol (65184125), producing positive test results in four of the workers. This chemical was probably a formaldehyde (50000) releaser and it was this property which might contribute to its strong sensitizing effect.