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Development of a computer database of skin sensitizers.

Fedorowicz-A; Michette-T
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 13-16, 2006, Chicago, Illinois. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2006 May; :60
Estimates indicate that more than 13 million workers in the United States are potentially exposed to chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin. Contact dermatitis from workplace chemicals accounts for 10-15% of all occupational illnesses at an estimated annual cost of at least $1 billion. Allergic contact dermatitis is considered to be a significant factor for the development of eczema in 48% of the cases for women and in 40% of the cases for men. Access to information that could be used for developing skin exposure limits is very important for the industrial hygienist. Most of the experimental methods, which have been proposed to assess the skin sensitization potential of a chemical, produce results using a binary scale that cannot be easily used to develop skin exposure limits. The dose-response data of the murine Local Lymph Node Assay (LLNA) can be used to produce a standardized continuous scale in the quantitative assessment of skin sensitization. A computer application containing LLNA-tested substances with data for more than 350 chemicals has been developed. The availability of continuous data allows them to be applied in the process of risk assessment and for recommendation of skin exposure limits. These recommendations will be based on potency, in contrast to current approaches that often do not differentiate between weak and extreme skin sensitizers, thus permitting the latter to be present in concentrations that can still cause health problems. In addition, the inclusion of several models for calculating the skin permeation coefficient provides an additional tool for risk assessment. The database can be used to search for LLNA-tested substances that structurally resemble the entry chemical. The results of this search might be used in qualitative assessment of skin sensitization activity of untested chemicals.
Occupational-exposure; Occupational-health; Skin-exposure; Allergic-dermatitis; Contact-dermatitis; Industrial-hygiene; Skin-irritants; Skin-sensitivity; Exposure-limits; Dose-response; Demographic-characteristics; Sex-factors; Quantitative-analysis; Sensitization; Chemical-analysis; Models; Risk-analysis; Qualitative-analysis
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Allergic and Irritant Dermatitis
Source Name
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 13-16, 2006, Chicago, Illinois
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division