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March 1965

Dermatitis From Hydrazine Hydrobromide Solder Flux

Author Affiliations


Professor of Dermatologic Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina Medical School (Dr. Wheeler); Plant Physician, General Electric Company, Waynesboro, Va (Dr. Penn); Professor and Chairman of the Department of Dermatology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Va (Dr. Cawley).

Arch Dermatol. 1965;91(3):235-239. doi:10.1001/archderm.1965.01600090043008

An outbreak of contact dermatitis from hydrazine hydrobromide solder flux occurred in an electronics plant. The dermatitis involved exposed skin surfaces, disappeared when the person stopped working, and reappeared when he returned; patch tests were positive in concentrations which were not irritating to controls. Most of the individuals were engaged in soldering when the dermatitis appeared, but once they were sensitized, the dermatitis was kept active by handling contaminated materials.

Hydrazine is a primary irritant and a very potent contact sensitizer. It, or its derivatives, is widely used in industry, and apparently this use is increasing. It seems reasonable that dermatitis caused by hydrazine will increase. In addition, there is a good possibility that a number of derivatives of hydrazine will cross-react in their contact sensitivity. Protective measures are extremely important in prevention of toxic or allergic manifestations of hydrazine exposure.

The capacity of hydrazine to sensitize a high percentage of persons makes it seem likely that it could be used in experimental study of delayed hypersensitivity.