Diagnosis and Treatment of Dermatitis Due to Formaldehyde Resins in Clothing

Ryan M. Carlson; Mary C. Smith; Susan T. Nedorost


Dermatitis. 2004;15(4):169-175. 

In This Article


Patch tests were performed on 852 patients in the University Hospitals of Cleveland Environmental and Occupational Dermatitis Clinic from August 1999 to April 2004. We tabulated patch-test reactions to formaldehyde and to several of the formaldehyde textile resins supplied by Chemotechnique Diagnostics. Antigens placed in Finn Chambers (Epitest Ltd Oy, Tuusula, Finland) on Scanpor tape (Norgesplaster A/S, Vennesla, Norway) were removed at 48 hours, and readings were taken on day 3 or 4 and on day 7 (for the first 250 patients, only a day 7 reading was done owing to logistic constraints). We contacted numerous textile manufacturers in an attempt to find those that use low-formaldehyde-releasing resins or no such resins in the finishing of their products, and we obtained a list of garment manufacturers that comply with the stricter Japanese standards for formaldehyde release from textile finishes. We included only those that agreed to be included in the study. Subsequently, we distributed our revised patient education materials to patients who were allergic to formaldehyde resins, and we have received preliminary feedback.