Contact dermatitis

Chromium allergy: significance of both Cr(III) and Cr(VI).

PMID 14996070


Most studies investigating chromium allergy have been performed with Cr(VI). However, real exposure to chromium from leather products includes both Cr(III) and Cr(VI). We have determined and compared the minimum elicitation threshold (MET) concentration for Cr(III) and Cr(VI) in Cr(VI)-sensitive patients. In addition, reactions to combinations of Cr(III) and Cr(VI) were compared to reactions elicited by Cr(III) and Cr(VI) alone. Dilution series of Cr(III) and Cr(VI) were applied in Finn Chambers on the back of 18 patients. The patches were left for 2 days and readings were done on days 2, 3 and 7. The MET10% for Cr(III) and Cr(VI) was calculated from the dose-response curves to be 0.18 microg/cm2/48 h (6 p.p.m.) and 0.03 microg/cm2/48 h (1 p.p.m.), respectively. No significant differences in the response to combined Cr(III) and Cr(VI) solutions versus single solutions were found. Cr(III) was concluded to play an important role in chromium allergy, because Cr(III) and Cr(VI) were both capable of eliciting eczema at low concentrations. Rather than regarding chromium dermatitis as a result of Cr(VI) allergy alone, it may be more correct to consider it as a result of a combined Cr(III) and Cr(VI) allergy.