The consumer product testing laboratory, part of the same group as Assay Office Birmingham, is specifically recognised for their knowledge with regards to the substance nickel.
As a direct result of this global reputation, the Nickel Institute invited a delegate from the Group to present, on behalf of CIBJO (The World Jewellery Confederation) at a recent workshop on Nickel Allergic Contact Dermatitis (NACD) in North America. Data indicates prevalence of nickel allergy is decreasing in the EU whilst in North America, where the use of nickel is not restricted, it continues to rise slowly but steadily. Concerned by this situation, the Nickel Institute facilitated a workshop on nickel allergy and the path forward to reduce the prevalence of nickel allergy and incidence of nickel allergic contact dermatitis (NACD) in the general population.
Held in Chicago in late June, the event gathered leading U.S. dermatologists, scientists, metallurgists, downstream users of nickel, industry representatives and regulatory experts. The workshop was part of the Nickel Institute’s drive to ensure that accurate information about nickel and nickel allergy is widely available and to ensure appropriate use. The ultimate goal which was shared by all participants is to prevent nickel sensitisation in the population and the occurrence of nickel allergic contact dermatitis in those already sensitised. A number of paths forward were identified.
Marion Wilson, AnchorCert Academy Director delivered a presentation outlining lessons learned from the European experience. She encouraged North America to develop a clear, straightforward approach and to engage with the industry from the outset. Marion has worked with the nickel specialists in the AnchorCert Analytical Laboratory and encouraged the UK trade to comply with the legislation there since its inception in 2000.
She said “We have learned a huge amount about nickel release and compliance and I was very happy to share our experiences with the Americans on behalf of CIBJO. The number of changes to the legislation and related standards to assess compliance as well as the controversial “No decision” status for borderline results have been obstacles to understanding and enforcement and it is really important that the Americans use the benefits of our experience to create a workable system whether it be voluntary or mandatory.”
Dr. Katherine Heim, NiPERA’s nickel allergy scientific specialist who organised the event said, “The workshop in Chicago was the first time that such a broad range of experts on different aspects of nickel and nickel allergy have met in North America to focus on how we can together combat this allergy. It is important that physicians, parents and patients are equipped with the accurate information they need to reduce the risk of nickel allergy, especially in children.
The nickel industry wants nickel to be used appropriately and we welcome the constructive dialogue from participants at the workshop. We look forward to working with downstream users of nickel as well as clinicians to share our knowledge of the essential nature of nickel and the best way to use it to avoid risk of nickel sensitisation.”
European legislation restricting nickel release from articles intended to come into direct and prolonged contact with the skin and in post assemblies has been enforceable for over 15 years. AnchorCert Analytical is the only laboratory in the world to offer a Quick nickel release testing; reducing the reporting time from 10 days to just five working days.