Blue-Jean Button Nickel: Prevalence and Prevention of Its Release From Buttons

Tina Suneja; Katherine H. Flanagan; Dee Anna Glaser


Dermatitis. 2007;18(4):208-211. 

In This Article

Methods and Materials

We collected 62 pairs of new and preworn blue jeans representing 43 brands of commercially available blue jeans. Forty-eight pairs of jeans were preworn, and 14 were new. The metal buttons of the blue jeans were tested for nickel with dimethylglyoxime (DMG) test kits (Delasco Dermatologic Laboratory & Supply, Inc., Council Bluff, IA). The DMG spot test kit consists of 1% DMG in alcohol (aqueous) and 10% ammonium hydroxide (aqueous). Two drops of each solution were placed onto a cotton-tipped applicator and rubbed onto the metal button. The formation of a pink-red precipitate on the cotton-tipped applicator indicates a positive reaction correlating with a nickel concentration of at least 1:10,000. One coat of clear fingernail polish (Beauty Secrets Nail Hardener & Thickener, formaldehyde- and toluene-free #61220, Brentwood Beauty Labs International Inc., Hillside, IL) was applied to the nickel-positive metal buttons and allowed to air-dry for 24 hours. The blue jeans with nickel-positive metal buttons were then washed in cold water on gentle cycle, machine dried, and retested for nickel. The blue jeans underwent a second wash/dry cycle and were retested for nickel release.


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