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April 1975

Porphyria Cutanea Tarda Associated With Disinfectant Misuse

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Hematology, University of Utah Medical Center, Salt Lake City.

Arch Intern Med. 1975;135(4):549-552. doi:10.1001/archinte.1975.00330040061009

Porphyria cutanea tarda was detected in a 44-year-old janitress. The illness was probably caused by the unintentional synthesis of a polychlorinated phenol as a result of mixing commonly available household ingredients in toilet bowls and shower stalls. Although the evidence for this hypothesis is circumstantial, its likelihood and the widespread household use of these reagents justify calling attention to the innovative misuse of disinfectants as a potential source of toxic exposure.