A high percentage of disperse dyes used in the textile industry are classifiable as skin sensitizers based on animal tests.

Only a small number (around nine) have been conclusively linked to cases of dyed textile contact dermatitis in consumers. However, adverse reports have been published concerning a further 10 to 20 disperse dyes. Although it is believed that the risk to consumers is low, a reliable epidemiological basis on which to assess the risk level is not available.

ETAD has many years experience in the area of assessing allergic contact dermatitis of disperse dyes. Our work is based on international experimental projects. The textile industry can also benefit from ETAD's network of highly qualified and reputable dermatological scientists from university and governmental institutions.

To ensure that disperse dyes can be used safely, ETAD is advocating:

  • A science-based approach to identify problem products where measures to reduce consumer risk are required
  • A perspective of the actual risk levels in the general population
  • An alternative but credible approach to the current practice of blacklisting of products impulsively.