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Medichem Newsletter November 20007

efforts of Prof. Hugo Ruediger, Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Vienna Conference. Hugo Ruediger is also a Medichem Board Member and a Member of the Editorial Board of the IAOEH.

Dr. Andreas Flückiger, Basel (Switzerland)


Contact Allergy to Low Molecular Epoxy Compounds

Epoxy resins are widely used within a number of different areas, such as the construction and paints industries. A manual manufacturing method is required for many of the applications, e.g. in the aircraft industry.

The majority of epoxy resins are based on diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA). There are, however, also resins where the most important component is diglycidyl ether of bisphenol F (DGEBF, bisphenol-F resins). This latter type of resin is also known as epoxy novolac. The resin can also be combined with glass or carbon fibre.

It is primarily the monomer DGEBA that has proven to be a health problem, in that it can result in a contact allergy, and hence also, in eczema, if the skin comes into contact with it. For a number of years now, DGEBA has been a component of a standard series used as screening series to investigate whether a patient has a contact allergy to a particular substance.

Considerably fewer investigations of bisphenol-F resins have been conducted, in spite of its widespread use. Contact allergies to this resin have been discovered, inter alia, in the aircraft industry.

Preliminary investigation data indicate that patients are often simultaneously sensitised to both bisphenol-A resins and bisphenol-F resins. There are however also cases of contact allergy to bisphenol-F resins only. Bisphenol-F resins contain three isomers of the same molecule. Studies are under way to investigate the percentages of these isomers in the resins and to clarify whether they have a differing allergenic potency.

For further information, contact Magnus Bruze or Ann Pontén, Inst. of Dermatology at the Malmö University Hospital. Phone: +46-40-33 65 16 or Fax: +46-40-33 62 13

Dr.. Andreas Flückiger, Basel (Switzerland)


Health and Chemical Safety – the Challenge of the 21st Century

an International Symposium Held June 14-16 in

St. Petersburg, Russia

This International Symposium was organised by the Medical Academy of Postgraduate Studies, the Institute of Toxicology and the State Centre for Sanitary Epidemiological Surveillance on Transport (Northwest Region of Russia) with support and co-sponsorship from the International Programme on Chemical Safety (ILO, WHO, UNEP), which was represented by Dr. J. Pronczuk.

110 specialists from 8 countries took part in the meeting and discussed the main challenges in the area of health and chemical safety.

The following topics were on the agenda of the Symposium:


the concept of chemical safety and new technologies


methodology of chemical safety


mechanisms of toxic effects


chemical safety and the health of children


chemical safety at work


pesticides, ecology and health


delayed effects of toxic chemicals


transport and trans-border movement of chemicals

It was emphasised that chemical safety will be a very central area of research and practice in the 21st century. The topic of Protection of Environmental Health of Children, presented by Dr. J. Pronczuk (IPCS, WHO Geneva) got special attention. This topic was further discussed in presentations by Dr. T. Popov (Bulgaria), Dr. L. Privalova (Russia), Dr. V. Ryazanov (Estonia), Dr. H. Bogdanov and Dr. N. Patsuk (St. Petersburg, Russia) and others.

Protection of the Environmental Health of Children was also the topic of a round-table discussion and it was agreed that it should be one of the priority areas in the 21st century.

An interesting event of the Symposium was an honourable lecture by Prof. Yorma Rantanen, Institute of Occupational Health, Finland, Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, which was devoted to chemical safety in the modern society.

The social programme included a City tour, a visit to the Hermitage and to Petergof and other events.

Prof. Dr. Mikhail I. Mikheev, St. Petersburg (Russia)


Welcome to New Members

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