Allergenicity of piperazine: a study in environmental aetiology.


This paper reports an apparent biological difference between two otherwise identical preparations of piperazine hexahydrate. It reports the cutaneous irritancy and allergenicity ofthis substance and records the effect ofenvironmental temperature on those properties, particularly the former. Finally, it reports severe, delayed asthma-like response to piperazine exposure. Interrogation of companies engaged in the manufacture of the substance revealed that the unwelcome effects reported here have quite commonly affected workers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, South Africa, and elsewhere in Sydney. The only report known to me is that of Foussereau (I963), who mentions cutaneous sensitization of nursing staff. It is remarkable that the chemical companies concerned should not have published reports of these ill effects. One may conclude from this study that in seeking to prevent industrial contact dermatitis consideration of the effective environmental temperature may well prove as rewarding as other more conventional measures.


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