- To identify the major fragrance ingredients causing allergic contact dermatitis.
- To determine threshold concentrations for elicitation of contact dermatitis in fragrance sensitised individuals depending upon skin region and product type.
- To investigate the relationship between exposure concentration and exposure time for elicitation of contact dermatitis in fragrance sensitised individuals.
- To determine actual exposure concentration to selected fragrance materials in deodorants.
Sensitivity to fragrance ingredients is a common problem. It has been demonstrated that 8-15% of individuals with eczema and 1-2% of the general population are allergic (delayed hypersensitivity) to fragrance ingredients. Sensitivity to these ingredients can cause an inflammatory skin reaction (allergic contact dermatitis), which is costly to medical services and results in social and occupational handicap. A series of clinical studies will be carried out in a multinational, five centre project. A rank order of the major fragrance ingredients causing problems will be made by determining the frequency of reactivity to a series of known sensitising fragrance materials in eczema patients. Further more a cohort of individuals who are allergic to fragrance compounds will be identified and the allergic component(s) in these products will be ascertained by fractionation and subject challenge. An assessment of exposure of these sensitising component(s) in consumer products will then be made by chemical analysis. Factors causing the production of clinically evident skin disease (concentration, skin site, exposure time) will be evaluated. The identification of the fragrance chemicals responsible for the induction of hypersensitivity in the community will provide data for the regulation of fragrance ingredient exposure to prevent the development of contact sensitivity. The results of the studies should lead to a decrease in the burden of fragrance induced skin disease to health care agencies and the financial consequences of occupational disability.