Contact allergy to oxidized d-limonene among dermatitis patients

Contact Dermatitis. 1997 Apr;36(4):201-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.1997.tb00270.x.


d-Limonene, obtained as a by-product from the citrus juice industry, was introduced on the market as a more environmentally friendly defatting and cleaning agent than the traditionally used organic solvents. Autoxidation of d-limonene readily occurs to give a variety of oxygenated monocyclic terpenes that are strong contact allergens. The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of contact allergy to air exposed d-limonene among dermatitis patients. A fraction consisting of d-limonene hydroperoxides was also tested. Screening with oxidized d-limonene will detect cases of allergic contact dermatitis. Additional cases were detected when testing with the fraction of limonene hydroperoxides. The proportion of positive patch test reactions to oxidized d-limonene was comparable to that seen for several of the allergens within the standard series. An increased use of d-limonene containing allergenic oxidation products in industry where high concentrations are used, as well as in domestic exposure, might result in contact sensitization and dermatitis. Patients reacting to d-limonene often reacted to fragrance mix, balsam of Peru and colophony in the standard series.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cyclohexenes
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / etiology*
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / etiology*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Household Products / adverse effects*
  • Household Products / analysis
  • Humans
  • Limonene
  • Patch Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Terpenes / adverse effects*
  • Terpenes / analysis


  • Cyclohexenes
  • Terpenes
  • Limonene