Airborne allergic contact dermatitis caused by isothiazolinones in water-based paints: a retrospective study of 44 cases.
Airborne allergic contact dermatitis caused by paints containing isothiazolinones has been recognized as a health hazard.
To collect epidemiological, clinical and patch test data on airborne allergic contact dermatitis caused by isothiazolinone-containing paints in France and Belgium.
A descriptive, retrospective study was initiated by the Dermatology and Allergy Group of the French Society of Dermatology, including methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI)/methylisothiazolinone (MI)- and/or MI-sensitized patients who developed airborne allergic contact dermatitis following exposure to isothiazolinone-containing paint.
Forty-four cases were identified, with mostly non-occupational exposure (79.5%). Of the patients, 22.5% of also had mucosal symptoms. In several cases, the dermatitis required systemic corticosteroids (27.3%), hospitalization (9.1%), and/or sick leave (20.5%). A median delay of 5.5 weeks was necessary to enable patients to enter a freshly painted room without a flare-up of their dermatitis. Approximately one-fifth of the patients knew that they were allergic to MI and/or MCI/MI before the exposure to paints occurred.
Our series confirms that airborne allergic contact dermatitis caused by paints containing isothiazolinones is not rare, and may be severe and long-lasting. Better regulation of isothiazolinone concentrations in paints, and their adequate labelling, is urgently needed.