8:06 am - Wednesday November 4, 2015

Metals in cell phones may cause allergic reaction

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WASHINGTON: Does your cell phone leave you itching? You may be allergic to the metals in the device! Studies have identified mobile phones and related devices as sources of metal sensitisation and potential causes of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), scientists say.

Despite efforts to control allergen release in phones, many phones in the market release levels of metals, such as nickel and chromium, which are sufficient to induce ACD, according to a new research.

A team of researchers led by Jacob Thyssen, from the Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte, Denmark, and Loma Linda University School of Medicine and University of Arizona College of Medicine in US, reviewed the current literature on mobile phone dermatitis in both children and adults.

Nickel sensitisation is common in children, resulting in ACD prevalence levels of up to 33 per cent. This information is important for practitioners, particularly when evaluating patients with dermatitis of the face, neck, hands, breast, or anterior thighs – common places exposed to cell phones, researchers said.

“With the rising use of cell phones and other mobile devices, pediatricians can expect to see additional cases of ACD,” said Mary Cataletto, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, State University of New York at Stony Brook.

The research authors provide important diagnostic tips for practitioners and strategies to raise awareness of nickel- or chromium-induced mobile phone ACD. The research was published in the journal Paediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology.

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