From: "Sadeque, Jafreen" <jsadeque**At_Symbol_Here**IUPUI.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] allergy? to goggles
Date: April 12, 2013 12:38:57 PM EDT
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <008301ce3717$f8638410$e92a8c30$**At_Symbol_Here**>

Hi Bruce,

Yes, my thoughts exactly!  I had responded to Sheila privately because I was embarrassed that I may have written too much and compared to the others, I have negligible experience, but the last sentence of your post has encouraged me to put it out.

Hi Sheila,

Sorry to hear about your student's sensitivity to goggles.  ...  I will come at the problem from a clinical angle based on my experience trying to help patients with hypersensitivities.

The student's problem might be unrelated to the goggles or caused by a disparate underlying medical condition.  However, he could be allergic to any material in the goggles, including the plastic of the goggles themselves.  From what you've described, I get the impression that the student's sensation of pain in his eyeballs is caused by the irritation on his skin.  This is because the major nerve branches supplying the skin around the eyes, the ophthalmic and maxillary nerves, also innervate the eyeballs.  It is possible your student is allergic to a certain type of plastic found in the goggles.  Plastic allergy is rare, but does exist.  Most physicians don't think about that because it is so rare and there are not standardized tests for it.  To see if he is allergic, he could try to test an area of his washed and dried skin away from his face, and if he breaks out, then applying Benadryl to see if that alleviates his rash.  I am not suggesting he should do this since I don't know enough details of the case, but he can discuss that idea with his physician.  If Benadryl removes it, it is most likely some sort of allergic reaction, but if it does not, it could still be an allergic or other immune response, just a different class.  Note also that sometimes people are not allergic to A nor B by themselves, but when they come in contact with both, they have a reaction.  For example, he might have a lotion on his skin that works fine, but the goggles against his lotioned skin might irritate his skin.  To take another example, he could simply be allergic to pollen, and it doesn't usually affect him, but when he puts his goggles on, those pollen particles get pressed into his skin, activating the irritation.  I don't want you to focus on that, but I wanted to mention it in case you all have a hard time trying to pin things down.  My thoughts are coming from my experience as a medical student.

I think switching your student to safety glasses and having him try several different pairs of goggles/glasses and the face shield is a great idea...  If the source of his irritation is hard to pin down, it is a good idea to find out from the manufacturer exactly what is on the goggles.  There are lots of unexpected ingredients and materials in lots of things!  I am saying this based on several unique patient cases in trying to pin down causes of irritation!  Can the student wear any sort of glasses?  Sunglasses, even?  If so, what is the frame made of?  Metal?  Plastic?  What material are the lenses?  I am assuming he does not currently wear glasses, but if he does, would it suffice for his existing glasses to be fitted with the little side shields for glasses (sorry, I can't recall what they're called)?

If he can tolerate metal frames but not plastic, then maybe he could get a large-coverage pair of frames and fit it with the proper impact resistant lenses and little eye-glass side shields.  I don't know if that would be appropriate?  I know General Chemistry lab curricula vary from school to school so that may or may not might suffice for your curriculum.


Jafreen Sadeque, M.S.
Medical Student, II
Indiana University School of Medicine


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From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**] on behalf of Bruce Van Scoy [brucev**At_Symbol_Here**BRIGHT.NET]
Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2013 5:52 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] allergy? to goggles


Interesting problem. 

Have you tried contacting the goggle manufacturers to specifically identify how the goggles are made and with what products? 

Since latex was identified years ago to cause multiple allergic reactions/sensitivities, nitrile glove use has significantly increased in those applications requiring protection and is now commonplace.  Natural latex gloves contained natural proteins that induced multiple levels of allergic reactions.  But to compare there are ~30 different ways to manufacture nitrile gloves, with ~12 of the processes using known sensitizers including thiurams, mercaptobenzothiazoles and dithiocarbamates, which may be used either individually or in combination, with the glove manufacturing processes varying in use from a limiting reactant to an accelerator. 

More importantly, why is it important to ask the questions?  If you were to research or investigate each chemical based upon the chemicals specific regulatory requirements, you would discover some are registered pesticides while others are known to cause allergic contact dermatitis or Type IV delayed hypersensitivity (an immunological response). 

The fact that the student is going to contact his/her doctor should be expected.  But, is expecting the student's doctor to investigate to the level of identifying which specific accelerator could be in use realistic? 

I believe the standard protocol of care would be for the physician (if an internist or allergist) to perform a general screening process since they do not know which specific sensitization compounds to screen for? 

However, if you could identify any compound of concern it would significantly expedite the process and save the student's doctor of trying to screen through all possible allergens, limiting the testing requirements, costs, time, etc.  Most importantly, if you can identify if any of the sensitizers are present and causing the condition, than you can screen for and eliminate those sensitizers with other goggles during the PPE selection process. 

In ~30 years of professional EHS practice I have not encountered this exact concern, but I have encountered similar situations with other PPE.

Are there any goggle manufacturer's out there that may provide input, corrections or clarification? 

I would very much like to see this thread continued to increase all of the list's knowledge base.



From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Kennedy, Sheila
Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2013 6:40 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] allergy? to goggles


Many thanks to those who have answered and offered help.

I have further information after I talked to the student today. It's not the skin around his eyes that hurts, although it looked red. His eyes hurt as though something is in them & the feeling stops when he takes off the goggles (2 different pairs, so far).

He's calling his doctor and I'm talking to anyone who might have a clue.




Sheila Kennedy, C.H.O.

Safety Coordinator | Teaching Laboratories

UCSD Chemistry & Biochemistry |MC 0303

s1kennedy**At_Symbol_Here** |

Office: (858) 534-0221 | Fax: (858) 534-7687


From: Kennedy, Sheila
Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2013 10:27 AM
To: 'SAFETY'; DCHAS-L Discussion List
Subject: allergy to goggles


Perhaps someone has experience with this.


We have a student in general chem lab who appears to be sensitive to the materials in his lab goggles. His face was red and showed raised bumps and he reported the contact was very painful after just  short time. We tried careful washing of goggles and a pair from another maker, with very similar results.


Today I'm going to give him a pair of safety glasses and a full-face shield to use while we pursue this question. I plan to let him take several pairs of different goggles with him and try them =96 perhaps an hour at a time =96 at home to see if he can find something useful.


Is there anything we can apply to the flange material to isolate it from skin? Any and all suggestions are welcome!


Sheila M. Kennedy, C.H.O.

Safety Coordinator | Teaching Laboratories

Chemistry & Biochemistry |University of California, San Diego

9500 Gilman Dr. | La Jolla, CA  92093-0303

Office: (858) 534-0221 | Fax: (858) 534-7687

s1kennedy**At_Symbol_Here** |


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