BACKGROUND: Chromium-tanned leather articles currently constitute the most important cause of contact allergy to chromium in Denmark. A regulation on the content of hexavalent chromium in leather was adopted in November 2013 by the EU member states. OBJECTIVES: To characterize patients with chromium allergy and their disease, to serve as a baseline for future studies on the potential effect of the new regulation on chromium in leather. METHODS: A questionnaire case-control study was performed on 155 dermatitis patients with positive patch test reactions to potassium dichromate and a matched control group of 621 dermatitis patients. Comparisons were made by use of a χ(2) -test and the Mann-Whitney U-test. Logistic regression analyses were used to test for associations. RESULTS: Sixty-six per cent of chromium-allergic patients had a positive history of contact dermatitis caused by leather exposure. They had a significantly lower quality of life (p < 0.001), a higher prevalence of dermatitis during the last year (p = 0.008), a higher use of medication during the past 12 months (p = 0.001) and a higher prevalence of sick leave (p = 0.007) than patients in the control group. CONCLUSIONS: Chromium-allergic patients have more severe and more chronic contact dermatitis. Their primary chromium exposure comes from leather articles.
Contact Dermatitis, 2014, Vol 71, Issue 6, p. 338-347
Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.