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June 1975

Allergy to Ethylenediamine

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Arch Dermatol. 1975;111(6):791. doi:10.1001/archderm.1975.01630180119019

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To the Editor.—  In recent years, several reports on ethylenediamine allergy have been published. In the Archives (108:74-78, 1973), Baer et al wrote that they found a high frequency of ethylenediamine allergy in patients studied from 1968 to 1970. Allergy to ethylenediamine was the fifth most common contact allergen, appearing more frequently than nickel allergy. Ethylenediamine is used as a stabilizer in the pharmacological industry. Edetic acid (EDTA), which is used as a chelating agent, is widely distributed in the food industry and in the cleansing material manufacturing industry. In canned food, frozen food, beer, tonics, and in all kinds of soaps, edetic acid binds metals, which catalize the oxidizing process and thus prevent the product from breaking down. Both ethylenediamine and edetic acid are sensitizers, which cross-react with each other and with antihistamines.At the department of dermatology of the Finsen Institute in Copenhagen, sensitization to ethylenediamine hydrochloride, edetic

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