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Agent Name
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Plastics & Rubber
Epoxy Resins
Occupational asthma reported in electronics industry and in paint and glue workers; [Malo] Allergic contact dermatitis in construction workers, shoemakers, electronics workers, mechanics, printers, and textile workers; [Marks] Epoxy resins are used in the finishing stage of leather production; [PMID 21938525] About 1/2 of the world's production is used for protective coatings of metal, wood, concrete, and other plastics. The rest is used in adhesives, laminates, tool and die castings, floors, and electrical equipment. Components of epoxy resin systems include: hardeners, diluents, epoxy acrylates (vinyl esters), epichlorohydrin, and bisphenol A. [Bray PG. Epoxy Resins. Occupational Medicine STAR 14(4): 743, 1999] Constituents of epoxy resin systems: base resin, curing agents, reactive diluents, solvents, plasticizers, pigments, reinforcing fibers, and fillers; [http://www.ohici.nl/pdf/health_effects_of_construction_materials.pdf]
Epoxy resins are synthetic resins used in paints, inks, adhesives, and advanced composites. These resins form polymers based on the reactivity of the epoxide ring. The most common epoxy resin is formed from epichlorohydrin and bisphenol A. Various "hardeners" such as amines and acid anhydrides are used to cross-link the molecules in the "curing" of the resin. Epoxy resins are a common cause of allergic contact dermatitis. Patients who develop skin allergy to epoxy resins are allergic to the monomers (such as epichlorohydrin and bisphenol A) in about 90% of the cases and to the hardener in the remaining cases. A completely cured epoxy resin contains no free monomer or hardener and is nonsensitizing. [Marks, p. 83-4] Facial dermatitis in a worker exposed to epoxy resins suggests sensitization to one of the hardeners, which are more volatile than the monomers. [LaDou, p. 333] Workers exposed to epoxy resins include cement workers, electricians, aircraft assemblers, medical workers, dental workers, textile workers, electronics workers, mechanics, and printers. [http://www.haz-map.com/workers.htm] "Epoxy resin compounds are the most common cause of allergic contact dermatitis from plastic composites." There are a few reports of contact urticaria to DGEBA epoxy resin and a polyamine hardener. Reported more often is contact urticaria from acid anhydrides used in heat-cured epoxy resins and to produce unsaturated polyester resin. [Kanerva, p. 631]
Biomedical References

Adverse Effects

Skin Sensitizer

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