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Tuesday, 8 February 2011

There Is A Problem

Popping Perfume Allergy into Google Scholar turned up 6420 hits dating back to the 1970’s. Asking only for the last three years gave 864. There was quite a lot of information and from many countries, although it is very hard to find anything from the UK. As we know science in the UK to get grants and keep your lab’s going has to show added value, that is to be commercial. Allergy and the contraction of disease or debility do not do this.

One article quoted was from “Contact Dermatitis, Vol. 63 Issue 2, August 2010, by six authors titled “Fragrance Contact Allergy, A Four Year Retrospective Study. Below is the abstract:


allergic contact dermatitis;
patch test

Background: Fragrance chemicals are the second most frequent cause of contact allergy. The mandatory labelling of 26 fragrance chemicals when present in cosmetics has facilitated management of patients allergic to fragrances.

Objectives: The study was aimed to define the characteristics of the population allergic to perfumes detected in our hospital district, to determine the usefulness of markers of fragrance allergy in the baseline GEIDAC series, and to describe the contribution made by the fragrance series to the data obtained with the baseline series.

Material and methods: We performed a 4-year retrospective study of patients tested with the Spanish baseline series and/or fragrance series. There are four fragrance markers in the baseline series: fragrance mix I (FM I), Myroxylon pereirae, fragrance mix II (FM II), and hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde.

Results: A total of 1253 patients were patch tested, 117 (9.3%) of whom were positive to a fragrance marker. FM I and M. pereirae detected 92.5% of the cases of fragrance contact allergy. FM II and hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde detected 6 additional cases and provided further information in 8, enabling improved management.

A fragrance series was tested in a selected group of 86 patients and positive results were obtained in 45.3%. Geraniol was the allergen most frequently found in the group of patients tested with the fragrance series.

Conclusions: Classic markers detect the majority of cases of fragrance contact allergy. We recommend incorporating FM II in the Spanish baseline series, as in the European baseline series, and using a specific fragrance series to study patients allergic to a fragrance marker.

Then there was the big one. A 457 page book titled “Occupational And Environmental Lung Disease. Work, Home, Outdoor And Other Exposures”.

There are many contributors and the Editors are Susan Tarlo, Paul Cullinan and Benoit Nemery. It is published by Wiley-Blackwell, August 2010 and the ISBN is 978-0470-51594-5, with a British Library index number. The bad news is that the cost is £99 from your local bookshop and not much less from Amazon

Quite how anyone can deny that there is a problem or why, given the increased power of many products, the UK medical profession can continue to ignore the extent and impact on so many people is a mystery.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for what you do. I'm so tired of living with this fragrance allergy.