Allergenic Elements in Spandex Garments

Alexander A. Fisher, MD
JAMA. 1967;201(11):894. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130110120048.
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To the Editor:—  Tanenbaum (200: 899, 1967) reported a case of dermatitis due to a spandex brassiere in a woman with allergic hypersensitivity to mercaptobenzothiazole. Dickey has reported similar instances in women in whom allergic contact dermatitis developed due to wearing stretch brassieres of spandex fibers (Duraspan) which contain mercaptobenzothiazole.1 I have also documented such cases.2Not all spandex fibers contain mercaptobenzothiazole. Lycra, Vyrene, Numa, and Blue "C" are spandex fibers which contain no mercaptobenzothiazole. Brassieres and foundation garments manufactured from such spandex fibers may be safely worn by individuals with allergic hypersensitivity to either mercaptobenzothiazole or rubber.My studies have shown that mercaptobenzothiazole is a common and potent sensitizer and is the principal cause of allergic hypersensitivity to rubber wearing apparel.3The individual with allergic hypersensitivity to rubber wearing apparel must not only substitute mercaptobenzothiazole-free spandex garments, but must also be certain to obtain spandex brassieres


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