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March 1972

Allergenic Aromatic Amines

Author Affiliations


Arch Dermatol. 1972;105(3):459-460. doi:10.1001/archderm.1972.01620060089024

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To the Editor.—  Though aware that aminobenzoic acid (p-aminobenzoic acid, PABA) was a member of the famous family of allergenic aromatic amines, Willis and myself prophesied that its use as a sunscreen would entail only a slight risk of contact sensitization. This forecast was based on two observations: (a) none of 25 subjects became sensitized to 20% aminobenzoic acid in petrolatum by the maximization test, a stringent procedure which has proved highly reliable in appraising sensitizing capability of drugs; (b) in several years of extensive testing we did not once encounter a case of contact sensitization.Based on our work and that of Fitzpatrick et al, at least two hydroalcoholic solutions of aminobenzoic acid have been marketed. We recently encountered a proved case of contact sensitization to one of these products and have heard from various colleagues of similar experiences. One of the manufacturers has indicated that

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