Nickel on the market: a baseline survey of articles in 'prolonged contact' with skin

Contact Dermatitis. 2016 Aug;75(2):77-81. doi: 10.1111/cod.12602. Epub 2016 Apr 28.


Background: In April 2014, the European Chemicals Agency defined the concept of 'prolonged contact with skin' as used in the EU nickel restriction.

Objectives: To establish a baseline of nickel-releasing items on the Swedish market conforming with the EU nickel restriction according to the definition of 'prolonged contact' with the skin.

Methods: We performed a limited market survey in Stockholm, Sweden. Items with metallic parts that come into contact with the skin, except those explicitly mentioned in the legal text, were chosen. The dimethylglyoxime (DMG) test was used to evaluate nickel release.

Results: One hundred and forty-one items belonging to one of three categories - accessories, utensils for needlework, painting and writing (called utensils), and electronic devices - were tested in the study. Forty-four percent of all items were DMG test-positive (releasing nickel), and 9% gave a doubtful DMG test result.

Conclusions: The large proportion of nickel-releasing items in the present study shows clearly that broader parts of industry need to take action to prevent nickel allergy. The high proportion of DMG test-positive items indicates that there is still much work to be done to reduce the nickel exposure of the population.

Keywords: dimethylglyoxime test; exposure analysis; market survey; nickel release.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone*
  • Computers*
  • Consumer Product Safety / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / etiology
  • European Union
  • Hobbies
  • Humans
  • Manufactured Materials / analysis*
  • Nickel / adverse effects
  • Nickel / analysis*
  • Oximes
  • Sweden


  • Oximes
  • dimethylglyoxime
  • Nickel