Lalko J, Api AM
Food and Chemical Toxicology: An International Journal Published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association, 2006
Essential oils are commonly used fragrance ingredients. The oils themselves are complex mixtures, which may contain naturally occurring contact sensitizers. The local lymph node assay was used to evaluate the dermal sensitization potential of basil, citronella, clove leaf, geranium, litsea cubeba, lemongrass, and palmarosa oils. Three of the major components–citral, eugenol, and geraniol–were included to investigate any difference in sensitization potential arising from their exposure in a mixture. Each fragrance material was tested at five concentration ranging from 2.5% to 50% w/v in 1:3 ethanol:diethyl phthalate. The stimulation index (SI) values were calculated for each dose level, an SI > or = 3 was considered a positive response. The estimated concentration (EC3) required to elicit a positive was calculated and taken as a measure of relative potency. The EC3 values and potency classification for basil, clove leaf, litsea cubeba, lemongrass and palmarosa oils were calculated to be <2.5% (> or = moderate), 7.1% (weak), 8.4% (weak), 6.5% (weak) and 9.6% (weak), respectively. Citronella and geranium oils were negative. The individual components citral, eugenol and geraniol resulted in EC3 values of 6.3%, 5.4% and 11.4%, respectively. In general, the potency of each essential oil did not differ significantly from that observed for its main individual component.
Lalko J, Api AM. Investigation of the dermal sensitization potential of various essential oils in the local lymph node assay. Food Chem Toxicol. 2006;44(5):739-746.