Contact dermatitis

1,2-benzisothiazolin-3-one in disposable polyvinyl chloride gloves for medical use.

PMID 17988285


Benzisothiazolinone is used as a slimicide in the manufacture of disposable powder-free polyvinyl chloride (PVC) gloves. We recently reported 6 patients from dentistry and health care probably sensitized to benzisothiazolinone in PVC gloves. The study aimed to investigate how widely disposable PVC gloves for medical use on the Finnish market in 2006 contain benzisothiazolinone and to report new cases from 2 clinics in Helsinki. 31 brands of disposable PVC gloves were analysed for their benzisothiazolinone content. We looked through the patient material of Helsinki University Central Hospital to find benzisothiazolinone allergic patients. We also described 3 previously unpublished benzisothiazolinone allergic patients from Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. 9 (30%) of the 31 glove brands contained 3-26 p.p.m. benzisothiazolinone. From the 2 clinics, we found 5 new benzisothiazolinone allergic patients who had used PVC gloves containing benzisothiazolinone. In addition, 3 patients had used disposable PVC gloves whose benzisothiazolinone content remained unknown. In Finland, benzisothiazolinone in powder-free PVC gloves has caused a small epidemic of allergic contact dermatitis in dental personnel and other health care workers. 1/3 of the disposable PVC gloves contained some benzisothiazolinone. A concentration of 20 p.p.m. benzisothiazolinone in a glove seems to be enough for sensitization.

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