Biocides are widely used in household products. Humans are exposed to biocides through dermal, inhalational, and oral routes. However, information on the dermal and inhalational toxicity of biocides is limited. We evaluated the effects of biocides on the skin and airways using the reconstructed human epidermis model KeraSkin™ and the airway model SoluAirway™. We determined the irritancy of 11 commonly used biocides (1,2-benzisothiazol-3(2H)-one [BIT], 2-phenoxyethanol [PE], zinc pyrithione, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol, 3-iodoprop-2-ynyl N-butylcarbamate [IPBC], 2-octyl-1,2-thiazol-3-one, 2,2-dibromo-2-cyanoacetamide, 4-chloro-3-methylphenol [CC], 2-phenylphenol, deltamethrin, and 4,5-dichloro-2-octyl-1,2-thiazol-3-one) in the KeraSkin™ and SoluAirway™ by viability and histological examinations. BIT and CC were found to cause skin irritation at the approved concentrations or at the concentration close to approved limit while the others were non-irritants within the approved concentration. These results were confirmed via histology, wherein skin irritants induced erosion, vacuolation, and necrosis of the tissue. In the SoluAirway™, most of the biocides decreased cell viability even within the approved limits, except for PE, IPBC, and deltamethrin, suggesting that the airway may be more vulnerable to biocides than the skin. Taken together, our result indicates that some biocides can induce toxicity in skin and airway. Further studies on the dermal and inhalational toxicity of biocides are warranted.
- Reconstructed human airway model
- Reconstructed human epidermis model