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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Allergic contact dermatitis from dicyclohexylmethane-4,4'-diisocyanate.

From August 1999 to April 2001, there was an outbreak of severe eczema at a factory manufacturing medical equipment. A glue, mainly based on the isocyanate dicyclohexylmethane-4,4'-diisocyanate (DMDI), was suspected as being the cause of the problem. 16 workers with recent episodes of eczema were patch tested with a standard series, an isocyanate series and work material. The latter consisted of, among other things, the glue, DMDI, and an amine, dicyclohexylmethane-4,4'-diamine (DMDA), which is formed when DMDI reacts with water. 13 patients reacted to DMDI, 9 to 1,6-hexamethylenediisocyanate (HDI) and 4 to isophoronediisocyanate (IPDI), all of which are aliphatic isocyanates. None reacted to the aromatic isocyanates, diphenylmethane-4,4'-diisocyanate ( MDI) or toluenediisocyanate (TDI). One explanation for this pattern could be that aromatic diisocyanates are more reactive than the aliphatic ones and that, therefore, they are inactivated before penetrating the skin. 5 patients reacted to DMDA and 5 to 4,4'-diaminodiphenylmethane (MDA). Concurrent reactions to DMDA and or MDA with DMDI could be due to cross-reactivity. The positive reactions to MDA could also be a marker of MDI exposure. Yet another patient, investigated in 1997 with suspected work-related contact dermatitis from the glue, is described. She, however, showed no positive reactions to any isocyanates.[1]


  1. Allergic contact dermatitis from dicyclohexylmethane-4,4'-diisocyanate. Frick, M., Björkner, B., Hamnerius, N., Zimerson, E. Contact Derm. (2003) [Pubmed]
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