Background: Contact allergy to formaldehyde, Bioban, and other formaldehyde releasers and cross-reactivity between them have been reported in the literature; however, not many studies have data on this cross-reactivity. Objective: To study (1) the rates of allergy to formaldehyde and to Bioban and other formaldehyde releasers and (2) the rates of cross-reactivity between them. Methods: We present a retrospective chart analysis of patch-test results for all patients referred for allergic contact dermatitis testing at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center from June 2004 to September 2005. Anyone allergic to formaldehyde, Bioban, or other formaldehyde releasers was included. Cross-reactivity between the agents was then analyzed. Results: The charts of 210 patients were analyzed. Of these patients, 24 (11%) were allergic to formaldehyde, Bioban, or other formaldehyde-releasing agents. Seventeen (8.1%) of the patients were allergic to formaldehyde, 15 (7.1%) were allergic to Bioban, and 20 (9.5%) were allergic to other formaldehyde-releasing agents. Eleven (65%) of the 17 formaldehyde-allergic patients were also allergic to Bioban. Of the 20 patients allergic to formaldehyde-releasing agents, 14 (70%) were also allergic to one of the three Bioban products tested. Of the 15 patients allergic to Bioban, 11 (73%) were allergic to formaldehyde, 14 (93%) were allergic to formaldehyde-releasing agents, and 11 (73%) were allergic to both formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing agents. Conclusion: A high cross-reactivity rate between formaldehyde, Bioban, and other formaldehyde-releasing agents was found.
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