Amylase is an enzyme, which is found everywhere in nature. It is for instance found in human saliva.
Amylase can break down carbohydrates and this is for instance used in detergents, where it can dissolve starch-containing stains such as spaghetti, chocolate, potatoes etc.
Artificially manufactured amylase is for instance used in the making of bread and beer.
The EU generally considers enzymes to be potential respiratory allergens [189, 190], which can pose a work environmental risk relative to the development of allergies. The EU, however, simultaneously considers the allergy risk to be minimal relative to regular usage of enzyme-containing detergents etc.
Low concentrations of some enzymes may, therefore, be used in detergents, which have been certified by Asthma-Allergy Denmark.
The low concentrations equally ensure that inhalation with dispensing as well as left over concentrations of dissolved detergents after wash do not provoke irritation or allergies.
A study from 2010 including data material from 15,765 people gathered over a 40-year period as well as a literature examination showed that 37 people had developed allergies towards enzymes (i.e. antibodies). There was not found symptoms or any direct linkage to laundry or detergent exposure. Most cases had risen before 1977 and thus with people, who had been exposed to high exposure concentrations. The clinical test showed that the occurrence of enzyme specific allergies in the general population is very rare (0.126% since 1977).