Screening of regulated aromatic amines in clothing marketed in Brazil and Spain: Assessment of human health risks

Environ Res. 2023 Mar 15:221:115264. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.115264. Epub 2023 Jan 10.


Azo dyes used in textile products contain aromatic amines (AAs), which may be released into the environment after skin bacteria cleavage the azo bond. In Europe, 22 carcinogenic AAs are regulated. Unfortunately, no information is available in many non-European countries, including Brazil. This study aimed to determine the concentrations of 20 regulated AAs in clothes marketed in Brazil and Spain. Generally, higher levels of regulated AAs were found in samples sold in Brazil than in Spain, which is linked to the lack of regulation. Sixteen AAs showed concentrations above 5 mg/kg in samples commercialized in Brazil, while 11 exceeded that threshold in Spain. Regulated AAs with levels above 5 mg/kg were more found in synthetic clothes of pink color. Concentrations in clothing were also used to evaluate the dermal exposure to AAs in 3 vulnerable population groups. The highest exposure corresponded to 2,4-diaminoanisole for toddlers in Brazil and 4,4-oxydianiline for newborns in Spain. Non-cancer risks associated with exposure to 4,4-benzidine by Brazilian toddlers was 14.5 (above the threshold). On the other hand, 3,3-dichlorobenzidine was associated with potential cancer risks for newborns and toddlers in Brazil. Given this topic's importance, we recommend conducting continuous studies to determine the co-occurrence of carcinogenic substances.

Keywords: Azo dyes; Carcinogenicity; Dermal exposure; Regulated aromatic amines; Risk assessment; Textile.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amines* / toxicity
  • Azo Compounds
  • Brazil
  • Clothing
  • Coloring Agents / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Spain
  • Textiles*


  • Amines
  • Azo Compounds
  • Coloring Agents