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Detection of formaldehyde in textiles by chromotropic acid method

Author(s): Rao Sanath | Shenoy Shruthakirthi | Davis Suraj | Nayak Sudhakar

Journal: Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology
ISSN 0378-6323

Volume: 70;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 342;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Keywords: Formaldehyde | Chromotropic acid | Textiles | Contact dermatitis

BACKGROUND: The common causes of textile dermatitis are formaldehyde resins and disperse dyes. There are various methods to detect the presence of formaldehyde in clothing. AIM: To detect the presence of formaldehyde in various types of textiles by the chromotropic acid method and to assess the effect of washing on the formaldehyde content. METHODS: Twenty randomly selected textiles from a local cloth store were tested for formaldehyde by the chromotropic acid method. A purple ring indicated a positive reaction. The intensity of the purple ring was graded from 1+ to 3+ and reassessed after washing the clothes. RESULTS: Eleven out of the 20 textiles tested positive for formaldehyde. The fully synthetic clothes were free from formaldehyde. After the first and second washes the majority did not show a reduction in the formaldehyde content. CONCLUSIONS: This is a simple and rapid test which can be used in the practical management of patients with textile allergy. Washing the clothes may not have an effect on the formaldehyde content.
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