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Toxicological information

Direct observations: clinical cases, poisoning incidents and other

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Administrative data

Endpoint:
direct observations: clinical cases, poisoning incidents and other
Type of information:
other: case study worker
Adequacy of study:
disregarded due to major methodological deficiencies
Reliability:
4 (not assignable)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: see 'Remark'
Remarks:
In a case study two female workers were exposed over about 10 years to synthetic detergents containing different alkylphenols (including nonylphenol). This report cannot be used as part of a risk assessment for nonylphenol because both workers were exposed to undefined mixtures of detergents. Based on the reported data it is not possible to conclude that nonylphenol facilitates depigmentation.

Data source

Reference
Reference Type:
publication
Title:
Two cases of Leucoderma, presumably due to Nonyl- or Octylphenol in synthetic detergents
Author:
Ikeda, M., Ohtsuji, H., Miyahara, S.
Year:
1970
Bibliographic source:
Ind. Health, 1970, 8, pp. 192

Materials and methods

Study type:
poisoning incident
Endpoint addressed:
skin irritation / corrosion
Test guideline
Qualifier:
no guideline available
Principles of method if other than guideline:
Observation of workers exposure
GLP compliance:
no

Test material

Reference
Name:
Unnamed
Type:
Constituent
Details on test material:
- Name of test material (as cited in study report): Nonylphenol

Method

Subjects:
- Number of subjects exposed: 2
- Sex: female
- Age: 60 and 56
Ethical approval:
not specified
Route of exposure:
dermal
Reason of exposure:
unintentional, occupational
Exposure assessment:
estimated

Results and discussion

Clinical signs:
Previous studies showed depigmentation of skin after exposure to alkylphenols. When producing polyoxyrthylene alkylphenylether alkylphenol is added as starting material and may remain unreacted and contaminate the final product of the systhetic detergent. Furthermore a decomposition of the polyoxyethylene alkylphenylether cannot be excluded (especially at higher temperatures above 150 °C). The workers used the detergent at temperatures of about 80 °C. Repeated heating and usage of the detergent and co-presence of metal dust may be favorable factors for gradual decomposition. It is also likely that steamy working environment due to heating of the washing solution up to 80 °C, alkaline nature of the liquid and the presence of detergents promote penetration of causative agents into skin.

The alkylphenylether itself is supposed not to be the reason for depigmentation and leucoderma because then an exponential increaese of production in recent years would be corresponded by innumerable reports of leucoderma.

In two suspicious detergents alkylphenol could be detected.

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Conclusions:
In a case study two female workers were exposed over about 10 years to synthetic detergents used for degreasing of metals. These detergents contained different alkylphenols (including nonylphenol). Both of them showed depigmentation and leucoderma at hands and arms respectively supraclavicular region.
The report cannot be used as for the risk assessment of nonylphenol because both workers were exposed to undefined mixtures of detergents. Based on the reported data it is not possible to conclude that nonylphenol facilitates depigmentation.