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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(12), 4606-4614; doi:10.3390/ijerph9124606
Article

The Relationship between Skin Symptoms and Allergic Reactions to Asian Dust

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1 Arid Land Research Center, Tottori University, Tottori 680-0001, Japan 2 Division of Surgical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University, Yonago 683-8504, Japan 3 Japan Environment & Children's Study, The Center of Tottori Unit of the JECS, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University, Yonago 683-8503, Japan 4 Division of Health Administration and Promotion, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University, Yonago 683-8503, Japan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 October 2012 / Revised: 27 November 2012 / Accepted: 28 November 2012 / Published: 10 December 2012
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Abstract

Asian dust events result from displacement of atmospheric pollutants from the Chinese and Mongolian deserts, causing associated health issues throughout Northeast Asia. We investigated the relationship between skin symptoms in Asian dust events and contact allergy to Asian dust and associated metals. Increases in atmospheric levels of heavy metals such as Ni, Al, and Fe occurred during the severe Asian dust event on March 21, 2010. We conducted a case–control study (n = 62) with patch testing to compare skin symptoms on an Asian dust day with metal allergic reactions. Skin symptoms were observed in 18/62 subjects. Nine subjects with skin symptoms (group A) and 11 without (group B) were patch tested for six metals and Asian dust particles. Metal and dust samples were applied to the subjects’ backs for 2 days and the reactions were scored according to the International Contact Dermatitis Research Group guidelines. Differences in the positive rates between the groups were analyzed. Skin reactions to ferric chloride (p = 0.015), aluminum chloride (p = 0.047), nickel sulfate (p = 0.008), and Asian dust particles (p = 0.047) were more common in group A than in group B. Skin symptoms during Asian dust events may be allergic reactions to Asian dust particle-bound metals.
Keywords: Asian dust; metal allergy; skin symptom; air pollutant; nickel Asian dust; metal allergy; skin symptom; air pollutant; nickel
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Otani, S.; Onishi, K.; Mu, H.; Yokoyama, Y.; Hosoda, T.; Okamoto, M.; Kurozawa, Y. The Relationship between Skin Symptoms and Allergic Reactions to Asian Dust. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 4606-4614.

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