1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark2 Materials and Surface Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark3 Copenhagen University Hospital4 Ohio State University5 Loma Linda University6 Centre for oil and gas – DTU, Center, Technical University of Denmark7 University of California, San Diego8 Loma Linda University
Background : Nickel is the most common allergen detected by patch testing in children. There is an increasing number of cases in children who have not had exposure to piercing. Although the clinical relevance of nickel patch test reactions in children is sometimes uncertain, continued vigilance to identify new sources of nickel exposure in this age group is important. Recent case reports have described allergic nickel contact dermatitis in children following exposure to toys, but the magnitude of this problem is unknown. Objective : The aim of this study was to evaluate nickel and cobalt release from children's toys. Methods : We purchased 212 toys in 18 different retail and online stores in the United States and Denmark. Nickel and cobalt release was tested using the dimethylglyoxime and cobalt screening spot tests. Results : A total of 73 toys (34.4%) released nickel, and none released cobalt. Conclusions : Toys are a commonly overlooked source of nickel exposure and sensitization. Therefore, dermatologists, allergists, and pediatricians should consider the role of toys in their evaluation of children with dermatitis, and the parents of children with positive nickel patch test reactions should be told that toys may release nickel and be a potential chemical source in the manifestation of allergic contact dermatitis.