Send to

Choose Destination
Contact Dermatitis. 2007 Feb;56(2):109-12.

Occupational contact dermatitis to a limonene-based solvent in a histopathology technician.

Author information

Department of Internal Medicine, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Unit of Dermatology, University of Bari, I-70124 Bari, Italy.


Recently, D-limonene-based solvents are used as a safe alternative to xylene for histological and cytological application to dissolve paraffin. We report the case of a histopathology technician with a recalcitrant hand contact dermatitis strictly related to the use of a limonene-based solvent agent. Patch tests with SIDAPA (Italian Society of Allergological, Professional and Environmental Dermatology) standard series, limonene-based solvent used by the patient and D- and L-limonene (both oxidized and nonoxidized form) and with Giemsa and methylene blue stains were performed. Patch testing gave positive results to oxidized D- and L-limonene. The patient retired from work and promptly improved and healed the hand eczema. Subsequently, the potential occurrence of limonene oxidation products in the incriminated preparation was investigated using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. While patch test showed positive reaction to oxidized limonene, chemical analysis failed to detect oxidized limonene in the preparations used by the patient. Considering the strict relation between the use of the preparations and the appearance of symptoms, we can assume that oxidized limonene may be produced during the handling of limonene-based products, especially in the presence of oxidants stains, frequently used in histological laboratories.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center