Nickel Institute North American Dermatitis Workshop

Nickel is a well-known allergen and one of the most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis in many parts of the world. Approximately 12-15% of women and 1-2% of men in North America are allergic to nickel. While this rate is consistent with the percentage of nickel allergic people for combined age groups in Europe, there has been a significant decrease in the number of young people (less than 30 years old) that are allergic to nickel in several European countries since legislation was instituted limiting nickel release in articles in direct and prolonged contact with the skin. However, prevalence rates remain non-negligible, even in the young population. Similar regulation does not exist in North America. Regardless of regulation, raising awareness and public education by communicating accurate information is critical to effectively reduce nickel allergic contact dermatitis (NACD) reactions worldwide. In order to share knowledge between stakeholders and better understand the perspectives of the numerous groups interested in nickel dermatitis, as well as promote communication, the Nickel Institute and its science branch, NiPERA Inc. (Nickel Producers Environmental Research Association) have organized a stakeholders' workshop. This workshop discussed:

  • prevalence of nickel dermatitis in North America;
  • science of nickel dermatitis;
  • integrating existing knowledge; and
  • communication strategies to decrease the prevalence of nickel dermatitis.

The workshop provided a timely opportunity for interested parties to share their views and experiences as well as their concerns and expectations regarding communication and prevention strategies to decrease prevalence of nickel dermatitis in North America. This followed a Brussels stakeholders' workshop in June 2015.

The participants were provided with a complete overview of all dimensions around the issue of nickel allergic contact dermatitis, including history of prevalence, the science, challenges, and next steps. The workshop also informed about the many beneficial properties of nickel and nickel-containing materials and their vital role in a wide range of applications.

The objective of the workshop was threefold:

  • To provide a historical overview of the prevalence of nickel allergy in North America and Europe;
  • To review the science involved in nickel allergy;
  • To openly discuss with stakeholders their practical experiences, challenges, concerns and expectations; and
  • To inform stakeholders on the Nickel Institute's activities and its new scientific research projects.
Program and Presentations:

1. Welcome and Introduction, by Nickel Institute and NiPERA Inc.

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2. Overview of the issue

History and present NACD prevalence, North America, by Dr. J. Chen, Stanford University

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History and present NACD prevalence, Europe, by Dr. D. Basketter, DABMEB Consultancy Ltd.

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3. Properties and applications of nickel, by Mr. G. Coates, Nickel Institute

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4. Nickel sensitization process, by Dr. K. Heim, NiPERA Inc.

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5. Clinician perspective

NACD in general population, by Dr. E. Warshaw, University of Minnesota

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NACD in children, by Dr. S. Jacob, Loma Linda University

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NACD and implants, by Dr. K. Watsky, Yale University School of Medicine/Yale-New Haven Hospital

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6. Market perspective, by Ms.M. Wilson, Assay Office Birmingham

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7. Path forward

Clinician communication role, by B. Brod, MD,

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Industry communication role, by Dr. K. Heim, NiPERA Inc.

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Regulatory perpective, by Mr. C. Richter, Nickel Institute Consultant, The Policy Group LLC

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Documents

 

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