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    Colophonium (rosin) can cause allergic contact dermatitis, mainly due to autoxidation of abietic acid (AbA). Products containing ≥0.1% colophonium should be labeled with EUH208 - "Contains rosin; colophony. May produce an allergic reaction." How should this be measured? To compare the results from different strategies for estimating colophonium levels in consumer products: (a) from AbA, and (b) the sum of all major resin acids. To investigate the ratio of 7-oxodehydroabietic acid (7-O-DeA)/AbA as indication of autoxidation. Resin acids were extracted from consumer products, derivatized, and then separated by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Resin acids were detected in 9 of 15 products. No product contained colophonium ≥0.1%. Estimation based on AbA resulted in underestimation of the colophonium levels in four of nine products. For three products, the obtained levels from this strategy were only one of two compared to when estimating from the sum of all resin acids. The ratio 7-O-DeA/AbA varied from 74% to 1.4%. We propose to measure colophonium based on the sum of all detectable major resin acids, including 7-O-DeA. The ratio of 7-O-DeA/AbA should be used as a marker of autoxidation, indicating an increased risk of sensitization. The presented analytical method is simple to use and suitable for further screening studies. © 2021 The Authors. Contact Dermatitis published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


    Ann-Therese Karlberg, Mhd-Hussam Albadr, Ulrika Nilsson. Tracing colophonium in consumer products. Contact dermatitis. 2021 Dec;85(6):671-678

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    PMID: 34291483

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