Contact Dermatitis-Table of Contents

Contact Dermatitis-Plastics

In all branches of the plastics industry, sensitization is a potent hazard and is best prevented, since it can almost never be cured except by removal from the environment. Scrupulous technique and cleanliness, not only of the person but also of the workbench area is essential. Sloppy or "fast" workers should be transferred and every effort made to provide washing and other cleaning facilities close at hand. Clean uniforms and frequent changes along with protective aprons, sleeves and gloves for those requiring them, are of great help in controlling sensitivity development.

State health departments are of great assistance in advising manufacturers how to make the necessary changes, as are insurance company safety inspectors.

As for the consuming general public, completely cured plastics are usually safe. One occasionally sees sensitivity to elastiglass wristwatch straps, to methyl methacrylate dentures and to melamine dentures, but I have never seen a plastic steering wheel produce a hand rash. The boating enthusiast who does his own repairs with epoxy glues is likely to develop a dermatitis. Usually the eyelids are the site of the most intense edema and vesiculation with erythema.

This document is a resource from the
Internet Dermatology Society
Send your comments to:
Rhett Drugge, M.D.
Last update: February 2, 1997