Substance Info: (and synonyms)
Abietic acid / Sylvic acid

Background Info:

Close Window
Immune Reactions I Non-Immune Reactions I Occupational

A resin acid. In pine (family Pinaceae), the primary irritant identified is abietic acid, sometimes called sylvic acid.

Natural acid prepared from pine rosin, usually yellow, water insoluble, composed of crystalline particles.

Colophony is an unhomogeneous mixture of resin acids as like abietic acid and neutral substances. (Keira 1997 ref.1503 8) See: Colophony / Rosin / Gum rosin / Tall oil




No Allergens characterised

Immune Reactions:

Contact urticaria from abietic acid. (el 1995 ref.12870 0)

Reorganization process. Data in process of being reorganized. Editorial staff 2014


Non-Immune Reactions:

No Records


OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE: Adhesives industry, cosmetics, electronics, animal workers, latex & rubber Little is known - slightly irritating to human skin and mucous membranes. May cause allergic reactions. May cause contact dermatitis. Abietic acid itself elicits relatively weak allergic responses; however, a number of compounds formed by air oxidation of abietic acid are potent contact allergens. Thus, abietic acid must be considered a major, even if weak, allergen in non-modified colophony. (Hausen 1989 ref.1177 8) There is a potential dermal exposure to terpenic resin acids in carpentry workshops as well as in sawmills. The hands have the highest exposure during sawing as well as during collecting. There is a spatial distribution of contaminants, with the outer chest, arms and legs showing the highest exposures. Resin acids also contaminated the inner chest and inner lower leg. It is necessary to take action to reduce dermal exposure to these allergenic substances. (Eriksson 2004 ref.12866 3) Plywood mill workers are exposed to inhalable dust, bacterial endotoxin, abietic acid, terpenes and formaldehyde, and they appear to have an increased risk of developing work-related respiratory symptoms. These symptoms may be due to formaldehyde exposure, although a potential causal role for other exposures cannot be excluded. (Fransman 2003 ref.12867 7) Of a group of patients reacting to wood dusts, 3 were patch test positive to abietic acid. (Estlander 2001 ref.4409 7)

Reorganization process. Data in process of being reorganized. Editorial staff 2014


Occupational allergic contact dermatitis. Exposure to wood dusts may cause various skin and mucosal symptoms. Allergic dermatoses, caused by wood dusts, diagnosed at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health during 1976-1999 are reported here. 16 had allergic contact dermatitis and, 2 had contact urticaria. 9 men (3 cabinet makers, 3 joiners, 1 carpenter, 1 knifemaker and 1 machinist) were mainly exposed to tropical hardwoods. 1 man had dermatitis caused by western red cedar. 5 patients, 3 men and 2 women, were exposed to Finnish pine or spruce dusts, and 1 man to aspen. 7 also had rhinitis, 4 asthma or dyspnoea and 3 conjunctivitis. On patch testing, 10 men reacted to 9 different wood dusts, including teak (5), palisander (3), jacaranda (2), mahogany (2), walnut (2) and obeche (1). Reactions to wood allergens, including lapachol (2), deoxylapachol (1), (R)-3,4-dimethoxydahlbergione (2), 2,6-dimethoxy-1,4-benzoquinone (1), mansonone A (2) and salicyl alcohol (1), were noted in 4 cases. All but 1 of 5 patients exposed to pine or spruce dusts reacted to the sawdusts, all 5 to colophonium, 3 to abietic acid, 2 to tall oil resin, 3 to wood tar mix and 4 to other wood gum resins. Of the 2 CU patients, 1 was prick and RAST positive to obeche, 1 reacted with urticarial dermatitis to punah wood dust on chamber exposure. Occupational allergic dermatoses are mainly caused by the dusts of hardwoods, mostly due to Type IV allergy, but may also be caused by softwood dusts. Patch tests can be done with wood dusts, but should be confirmed by patch testing with wood allergens if possible. (Estlander 2001 ref.4409 8)

Estlander T, Jolanki R, Alanko K, Kanerva L. Occupational allergic contact dermatitis caused by wood dusts. Contact Dermatitis 2001



No Records

Information supplied from an abridged section of:
Allergy Advisor - Zing Solutions

© 2014

Allergy Advisor  - Food Additive and Preservative Allergy and Intolerance Database