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Dermal Advanced REACH Tool (dART)-Development of a Dermal Exposure Model for Low-Volatile Liquids

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Author: Goede, H.A. · McNally, K. · Gorce, J.P. · Marquart, H. · Warren, N.D. · Fransman, W. · Tischer, M. · Schinkel, J.
Source:Annals of work exposures and health, 6, 63, 624-636
Identifier: 869347
doi: doi:10.1093/annweh/wxy106
Keywords: Dermal exposure · Exposure assessment · Model · Occupational · Work · Calculation · Field study · Human · Immersion · Skin · Software · Taxonomy · Vapor pressure · Worker · Workplace


This article describes the development of a mechanistic model for underpinning the dermal Advanced REACH Tool (dART), an extension of the existing ART model and its software platform. It was developed for hand exposure to low volatile liquids (vapour pressure ≤ 10 Pa at 20°C) including solids-in-liquid products. The model is based on an existing conceptual dermal source-receptor model that has been integrated into the ART framework. A structured taxonomy of workplace activities referred to as activity classes are adopted from ART.  Three key processes involved in mass transport associated with dermal exposure are applied, i.e. deposition, direct emission and contact, and transfer. For deposition, the model adopts all the relevant modifying factors (MFs) applied in ART. In terms of direct emission and contact (e.g. splashes) and transfer (e.g. hand-surface contacts), the model defines independent principal MFs, i.e. substance-related factors, activity-related factors, localized- and dispersion control and exposed surface area of the hands. To address event-based exposures as much as possible, the model includes crucial events during an activity (e.g. hand immersions) and translates objective information on tools and equipment (manual or automated) to probable events (e.g. splashes) and worker behaviours (e.g. surface contacts). Based on an extensive review of peer-reviewed literature and unpublished field studies, multipliers were assigned to each determinant and provide an approximated (dimensionless) numerical value. In the absence of (sufficient) evidence, multipliers were assigned to determinants based on assumptions made during discussions by experts in the consortium. A worked example is presented to illustrate the calculation of hand exposure for a specific scenario. The dART model is not yet implemented in the ART software platform, and a robust validation of the model is necessary to determine its predictive ability. With advancing knowledge on dermal exposure and its determinants, this model will require periodic updates and refinements, in addition to further expansion of the applicability domain of the model. © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.