The nickel release test is carried out according to the regulations of the European Community. It allows to check the level of nickel that can be found in a product for topical use and the correlated risk of sensitization.
Nickel is the major allergen in allergic contact dermatitis, and allergy to nickel is growing steadily. Being an ubiquitous metal, its presence persists in the environment and in many products which the skin comes into contact, including jewelry, piercings, glasses, clips, cosmetics (mascara, eye shadow, foundation, lipstick ), detergents, colorful fabrics, leather, etc..
Directive 94/27 / EC DIR 76/769/EC (Article 1/2/3) issued by the Executive Board of the European Parliament in order to contain and reduce skin sensitization to nickel in the population has been implemented in Italy in July 2001 and it is currently in force.
This Directive bans the export and the marketing in Italy of products containing or releasing amount of nickel above a defined threshold. Experimental conditions are applied, which simulate a prolonged use of nickel in contact with the skin.