May 26, 2010
Better Animal-free Test For Chemicals That Can Cause Contact Dermatitis
Scientists are reporting development of a fast, simple, inexpensive method for determining whether chemicals in consumer products and workplaces may cause skin allergies in people -- a method that does not involve use of animals. Their study appears in ACS' Chemical Research in Toxicology, a monthly journal.
Itai Chipinda and his colleagues note the existence of public sentiment against the use of animals to determine whether ingredients in consumer soaps, shampoos and other consumer products, and workplace chemicals, may cause skin sensitization and contact dermatitis. Chemicals cause dermatitis by bonding to proteins in the skin, and then aggravating the immune system so that redness, irritation, itching, and other symptoms occur. Existing chemical tests use substances like glutathione that mimic skin proteins and bond to allergy-causing ingredients. None, however, are suitable for use in detecting the critical early stages of skin sensitization, the scientists say.
Image Caption: Skin allergies, such as the reddened area this man is treating, could become a less common occurrence thanks to a new animal-free test for chemicals that might trigger allergic reactions. Credit: iStock
On the Net:
- American Chemical Society
- Article: Rapid and Simple Kinetics Screening Assay for Electrophilic Dermal Sensitizers Using Nitrobenzenethiol