Consumer leather exposure: an unrecognized cause of cobalt sensitization

J.P. Thyssen, Jeanne D. Johansen, Morten Stendahl Jellesen, Per Møller, Jens Jørgen Sloth, Claus Zachariae, Torkil Menne

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND: A patient who had suffered from persistent generalized dermatitis for 7 years was diagnosed with cobalt sensitization, and his leather couch was suspected as the culprit, owing to the clinical presentation mimicking allergic chromium dermatitis resulting from leather furniture exposure.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The cobalt spot test, X-ray fluorescence, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and scanning electron microscopy were used to determine cobalt content and release from the leather couch that caused the dermatitis and from 14 randomly collected samples of furniture leather.
RESULTS: The sample from the patient's leather couch, but none of the 14 random leather samples, released cobalt in high concentrations. Dermatitis cleared when the patient stopped using his couch.
CONCLUSIONS: Cobalt is used in the so-called pre-metallized dyeing of leather products. Repeated studies have found high levels of cobalt sensitization, but not nickel sensitization, in patients with foot dermatitis. We raise the possibility that cobalt may be widely released from leather items, and advise dermatologists to consider this in patients with positive cobalt patch test reactions. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
JournalContact Dermatitis
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)276-279
Publication statusPublished - 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Consumer leather exposure: an unrecognized cause of cobalt sensitization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this