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Determinants of Dermal Exposure Relevant for Exposure Modelling in Regulatory Risk Assessment

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Author: Marquart, J. · Brouwer, D.H. · Gijsbers, J.H.J. · Links, I.H.M. · Warren, N. · Hemmen, J.J. van
Institution: TNO Voeding
Source:Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 8, 47, 599-607
Identifier: 237342
doi: doi:10.1093/annhyg/meg096
Keywords: Chemistry · Food and Chemical Risk Analysis · Exposure determinants · Exposure model · Risk assessment · Computer simulation · Dermatitis · Industrial chemicals · Personnel · Dermal exposure · Occupational risks · Controlled study · Decision making · Experimental model · Parameter · Worker · Workplace · Humans · Models, Theoretical · Occupational Exposure · Risk Assessment · Risk Factors · Skin · Skin Absorption


Risk assessment of chemicals requires assessment of the exposure levels of workers. In the absence of adequate specific measured data, models are often used to estimate exposure levels. For dermal exposure only a few models exist, which are not validated externally. In the scope of a large European research programme, an analysis of potential dermal exposure determinants was made based on the available studies and models and on the expert judgement of the authors of this publication. Only a few potential determinants appear to have been studied in depth. Several studies have included clusters of determinants into vaguely defined parameters, such as 'task' or 'cleaning and maintenance of clothing'. Other studies include several highly correlated parameters, such as 'amount of product handled', 'duration of task' and 'area treated', and separation of these parameters to study their individual influence is not possible. However, based on the available information, a number of determinants could clearly be defined as proven or highly plausible determinants of dermal exposure in one or more exposure situation. This information was combined with expert judgement on the scientific plausibility of the influence of parameters that have not been extensively studied and on the possibilities to gather relevant information during a risk assessment process. The result of this effort is a list of determinants relevant for dermal exposure models in the scope of regulatory risk assessment. The determinants have been divided into the major categories 'substance and product characteristics', 'task done by the worker', 'process technique and equipment', 'exposure control measures', 'worker characteristics and habits' and 'area and situation'. To account for the complex nature of the dermal exposure processes, a further subdivision was made into the three major processes 'direct contact', 'surface contact' and 'deposition'.