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January 1988

Yellow Staining of Skin Among Plastics Workers

Author Affiliations

Division of Dermatology Cornell University Medical College 1300 York Ave New York, NY 10021; Laboratory of Investigative Dermatology Rockefeller University 1230 York Ave New York, NY 10021

Arch Dermatol. 1988;124(1):19-20. doi:10.1001/archderm.1988.01670010009002

To the Editor.—  We have reexamined the thesis that 4,4′-methylenedianiline (MDA) exposure was responsible for yellow staining of the skin among workers at a molded plastics factory.1 Barr et al2 note that metaphenylenediamine (MPD) is also a component of curing agent Z (Shell Oil Co, Houston), to which the workers were exposed. Figure 1 gives curing agent Z components, provided by Shell as potential health hazards at the time of the 1980 study (published in the Archives in 1985)1. Shell did not include MPD as a component. Quite the contrary, information provided by Shell Technical Services attributed the probable cause of staining to MDA. In fact, MPD was acknowledged as a component on the Material Safety Data Sheet of curing agent Z only after 1983 (G. Youngblood, personal communication, March 1987).To determine which chemical(s) actually caused yellow discoloration of skin, we compared staining properties of reagent

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