The contribution of dermal exposure to the total body burden of a given chemical is difficult to assess. However, it is possible that as regulatory pressures lead to reductions in inhalation exposure, the proportion of uptake via the dermal route will increase. This study brings together recent work in the field of dermal exposure to provide a model to estimate both exposure and uptake of solvents through the skin. Using spray painters as an example, the process of modelling exposure is described from identifying the determinants of exposure through to calculating the flux of solvent through the stratum corneum and thus the total dermal uptake. Results from a range of exposure scenarios are presented and areas requiring further research and validation are highlighted. The model should allow the estimation of combined dermal and inhalation exposure to solvents in both current work situations and retrospective epidemiological studies. Furthermore, it is envisaged that the model may provide the basis for generic assessment of dermal exposure and uptake. (C) 2001 British Occupational Hygiene Society. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. ALI rights reserved.
- exposure factors