Dermal exposure needs to be addressed in regulatory risk assessment of chemicals. The models used so far are based on very limited data. The EU project RISKOFDERM has gathered a large number of new measurements on dermal exposure to industrial chemicals in various work situations, together with information on possible determinants of exposure. These data and information, together with some non-RISKOFDERM data were used to derive default values for potential dermal exposure of the hands for so-called 'TGD exposure scenarios'. TGD exposure scenarios have similar values for some very important determinant(s) of dermal exposure, such as amount of substance used. They form narrower bands within the so-called 'RISKOFDERM scenarios', which cluster exposure situations according to the same purpose of use of the products. The RISKOFDERM scenarios in turn are narrower bands within the so-called Dermal Exposure Operation units (DEO units) that were defined in the RISKOFDERM project to cluster situations with similar exposure processes and exposure routes. Default values for both reasonable worst case situations and typical situations were derived, both for single datasets and, where possible, for combined datasets that fit the same TGD exposure scenario. The following reasonable worst case potential hand exposures were derived from combined datasets: (i) loading and filling of large containers (or mixers) with large amounts (many litres) of liquids: 11 500 mg per scenario (14 mg cm-2 per scenario with surface of the hands assumed to be 820 cm2); (ii) careful mixing of small quantities (tens of grams in <1l): 4.1 mg per scenario (0.005 mg cm-2 per scenario); (iii) spreading of (viscous) liquids with a comb on a large surface area: 130 mg per scenario (0.16 mg cm-2 per scenario); (iv) brushing and rolling of (relatively viscous) liquid products on surfaces: 6500 mg per scenario (8 mg cm-2 per scenario) and (v) spraying large amounts of liquids (paints, cleaning products) on large areas: 12 000 mg per scenario (14 mg cm -2 per scenario). These default values are considered useful for estimating exposure for similar substances in similar situations with low uncertainty. Several other default values based on single datasets can also be used, but lead to estimates with a higher uncertainty, due to their more limited basis. Sufficient analogy in all described parameters of the scenario, including duration, is needed to enable proper use of the default values. The default values lead to similar estimates as the RISKOFDERM dermal exposure model that was based on the same datasets, but uses very different parameters. Both approaches are preferred over older general models, such as EASE, that are not based on data from actual dermal exposure situations. © The Author 2006. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.