Thursday, April 14, 2011

NIOSH Study Designates Bisphenol A as a Skin Sensitizer


Chemical structure of bisphenol A.
Image via Wikipedia

On April 12, 2011, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published a skin notation profile for Bisphenol A (BPA).  This profile found enough evidence to classify BPA as causing skin sensitization.  Sensitization is a specific immune-mediated response (responses mediated by the immune system, including allergic responses) that develops following exposure to a chemical, which, upon re-exposure, can lead to allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) or other immune-mediated diseases such as asthma, depending on the site and route of re-exposure.  BPA is a high-production-volume (HPV) chemical used in the manufacturing of epoxy resins, plastics, and flame retardants.  NIOSH evaluated several case reports and predictive animal studies that indicated BPA as being a skin sensitizer and can cause photoallergy.  Hence, NIOSH has assigned a SK:SEN notation (skin:sensitizer) for BPA.  With BPA used as a flame retardant avoiding coming into skin contact with it could be very difficult. 
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