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1. NATURAL SCIENCES, 1.4 CHEMICAL SCIENCES, Organic Chemistry, Polymer science, Toxicology
Epoxy resin monomers, including diglycidyl ethers of bisphenol A and F (DGEBA and DGEBF), are extensively used as building blocks for thermosetting polymers. However, they are known to cause widespread contact allergy. This research describes a number of alternative epoxy resin monomers, designed with the aim of reducing the skin sensitizing potency whilst maintaining the ability to form thermosetting polymers. The compounds were designed, synthesized, assessed for skin sensitizing potency using the in vivo murine local lymph node assay, and tested for technical applicability using thermogravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimetry. All the novel epoxy resin monomers had decreased skin sensitization potencies compared to DGEBA and DGEBF. With respect to EC3 values, which is the estimated concentration of a substance required to induce a 3-fold increase in sensitization compared to a control, the best of the new monomers had a value approximately 2.5 times higher than those of DGEBA and DGEBF. The diepoxides were reacted with triethylenetetramine and four out of the six novel monomers gave polymers with a thermal stability comparable to that obtained with DGEBA and DGEBF. The new epoxy resin monomers have the potential to replace DGEBA and DGEBF, leading to a decreased incidence of contact allergy due to epoxy resins, decreased healthcare costs, and an increased quality of life for those handling thermosetting materials.
O'Boyle, N. et al (2014). Epoxy resin monomers with reduced skin sensitizing potency. Chemical Research in Toxicology, 2014, 27(6), pp.Pages 1002-1010. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/tx5000624