Standard Article

Methods for Demonstrating Dermal Irritation and Sensitization due to Pesticides

  1. Michael O'Malley M.D., M.P.H.

Published Online: 15 APR 2003

DOI: 10.1002/047126363X.agr245

Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals

Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals

How to Cite

O'Malley, M. 2003. Methods for Demonstrating Dermal Irritation and Sensitization due to Pesticides. Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals. .

Author Information

  1. University of California, Davis, Employee Health Services and California Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Pesticide Regulation, Sacramento, California

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2003


To avoid unnecessary human contact with compounds that are corrosive or severely irritating, chemicals may be screened using a number of different animal assays. Most of the available dermal assays readily predict the effects of the most severe irritants that produce a clear reaction after brief skin contact. The assays vary in ability to predict weak and intermediate irritants that produce reactions only after more prolonged or repeated contact. The gradations between irritant compounds can be best determined from use experience. Nevertheless, it is sometimes difficult to draw definite conclusions from the limited data available for particular compounds.


  • pesticide;
  • animal assay;
  • dermal assay;
  • Draize model;
  • local lymph node assay;
  • quantitative structure activity relationship;
  • Buehler test;
  • open epicutaneous test;
  • Freund's complete adjuvant test;
  • Maurer models;
  • split adjuvant technique;
  • Magnusson, Kligman test