2017 Toxicology in Vitro 44 (2017) 142–153
Laboratoires ANIOS, Laboratoire de Toxicologie Génétique, EA 4483,Université de Lille 2, Univ. Lille, CNRS, Inserm, Univ. Lille, Inserm, Lille and Département de toxicologie, Thor Personal Care, Compiegne, France

Comparative assessment of local tolerance of alcohols commonly used in alcohol-based hand rubs for hand hygiene

Hand hygiene plays a key role in nosocomial infection prevention. To achieve users' adherence, products' dermal tolerance is essential. We aimed at making a comparative assessment of skin irritation and phototoxicity of the 3 alcohols commonly used in alcohol-based hand rubs (Ethanol, Propan-2-ol, Propan-1-ol) at 60, 70, 80 or 85% w/ w in water or with co-formulates (hydrating, emollient and skin protective agents).

In vitro validated OECD methods 439 and 432 were used. For irritation, EpiSkin™ Small Model was the chosen Reconstructed Human Epidermis (RhE). For phototoxicity, co-formulates alone or in mixture with and without alcohol were tested using BALB/c 3T3 cell cultures. Whilst Ethanol and Propan-2-ol could not be differentiated and displayed good skin tolerance profiles, Propan-1-ol based products lead to significant viability impairments of RhE at 60, 70 or 80% and at 60% in the presence of co-formulates.

However, these results could not be reproduced in another RhE model. Taking also into account bibliographic data on Propan-1-ol, this suggests that our results are probably related to a lack of specificity of the used RhE. Therefore, it can be relevant in case of significant results to use two different RhE models before performing any classification and/or performing any complementary tests.