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Allergic Contact Dermatitis from Formaldehyde Textile Resins in Surgical Uniforms and Nonwoven Textile Masks

Donovan, Jeff; Skotnicki-Grant, Sandy

doi: 10.2310/6620.2007.05003

Despite a trend for reduction in the concentration of free formaldehyde in textiles, formaldehyde textile resin (FTR) allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) remains an important clinical issue and is likely underdiagnosed. Patients with FTR ACD may react to formaldehyde released from the resin or to the resin itself. Screening with formaldehyde and ethyleneurea/melamine formaldehyde resin will uncover most cases. Patch testing with the suspected offending fabric most often leads to false-negative results. We present a case of a 49-year-old pediatrician who developed a severe widespread dermatitis caused by contact with FTRs from her hospital “greens” (“scrubs”) and mask.

From St. Michael's Hospital, Occupational Disease Specialty Program, Toronto, Ontario.

Supported by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

Address reprint requests to Dr. Sandy Skotnicki-Grant, 790 Bay St., Suite 536 Bay Dermatology Centre Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5G-1N8.

©2007American Contact Dermatitis Society, All Right Reserved
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