EMF Health-effects Research

Cellular phone dermatitis with chromate allergy

Seishima M, Oyama Z, Oda M

Dermatology. 207(1):48-50, 2003

BACKGROUND: A patient with allergic contact dermatitis caused by hexavalent chromium plating on a cellular phone has already been reported.

OBJECTIVES: This study described the clinical characteristics and results of patch tests in 8 patients with contact dermatitis possibly caused by handling a cellular phone.

PATIENTS: The 8 patients were 4 males and 4 females aged from 14 to 54 years. They each noticed skin eruptions after 9-25 days of using a cellular phone. All patients had erythema, and 7 had papules on the hemilateral auricle or in the preauricular region. Three of 8 patients had a history of metal allergy. Chromate, aluminium and acrylnitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer were used as plating on the cellular phones used by these patients.

METHODS: Closed patch tests and photopatch tests were performed using metal standard antigens.

RESULTS: The patch test was positive for 0.5, 0.1 and 0.05% potassium dichromate in all 8 patients. The photopatch test showed the same results. One patient was positive for 2% cobalt chloride and one for 5% nickel sulfate.

CONCLUSION: It is important to consider the possibility of contact dermatitis due to a cellular phone, possibly caused by chromate, when the patients have erythema and papules on the hemilateral auricle or in the preauricular region.

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