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Contact dermatitis to materials

I am basically a lurker, as I can’t compete with the extensive
knowledge of the people in this group, but I learn so much from you
all. I have a question that I’m asking for a friend who is doing
research on allergies to metals pertaining to jewelry making. Does
anyone know of any common chemicals used in metalwork, other jewelry
making where people might have allergic reactions, including resin
(including dyes) and PMC. She knows about the common zinc and base
metal contact dermatitis. Thanks so much for any info you can



Of course, the most common allergy encountered by jewellers is
probably nickel, but there are lots of chemical compounds that can
cause allergies, many of which are practically unknown, even to
people in the trade. I’ve developed very bad allergies to
chemical additives used in (among lots of other things) vulcanizing
rubber, both natural (latex) and synthetics. I 've no doubt
contracted these allergies through 30 years of rubber mold making
(approx. 500 molds a year) in my business, and have been forced to
hire a part-time mold maker, move my workbench(es) to a different
part of the factory and re-work a good part of the ventilation
system. No fun.

Burton Randall

I really dislike Liver of Sulphur… I get an annoying reaction
between my fingers. Soft Solder Flux…yuk I taste it all day


the thing about contact dermatitis is that there are as many things
that cause it as individuals that exhibit related symptoms. Just
about anything from chinese white, asphaltum, shellacs,
cochineal,borax, detergents, fluxes (particularly those containing
TSP),solder pastes ( a combo of metal filings and paste flux ),
copper alloys - which covers a large number of commonly used
metals(-sterling, 9-18kt golds, white gold is notorious as it
contains a large proportion of nickel), patinas-prepared or studio
made, organic glues, synthetic anything,pure rubber molding compounds
( as they are latex based), RTV supplies, sea sponges,compounds and
polishes,cloths impregnated with rouges, even petrol based waxes have
been known to cause reactions in sensitive individuals…the list is
literally too long to cover here…

Titanium is practically hypoallergenic,very high karat gold is
usually not a contributor to dermatitis, platinum is generally not a
contributor, nor is fine silver…short of this i’m not really sure
what your friend is looking for Re: …If you can be a
bit more specific so can I…


Hi Nancy

I know I have an aunt who is allergic to all metals except platinum.
She cannot wear any metal as jewellery except her platinum wedding
ring, for more than a couple of hours or she breaks out in a very
uncomfortable and itchy rash. With some she apparently even swells.

I myself cannot touch anything with lead in it or I taste an awful
metal taste in my mouth similar to the one I taste before I get sick
to my stomach. I have to be careful when I show my galena sample to
the grade three classes I teach to that I myself do not actually
touch it.

Karen Bahr - Karen’s Artworx
Calgary, Alberta, Canada