Invited article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1999;25(6):511-520    pdf | Issue date: Dec 1999

The dermal route in systemic exposure

by Benford DJ, Cocker J, Sartorelli P, Schneider T, van Hemmen J, Firth JG

To evaluate risk from dermal exposure, the amount of material on the skin must first be measured. The potential for dermal uptake must then be assessed for the potential health effects from systemic exposure. No standard methods exist for studying these processes, and published data are not comparable because of the different techniques used. Future validated methodology should provide a sound scientific basis for risk assessment. Methods for measuring skin and surface contamination will require development of reference contaminated surfaces and skin as part of quality control procedures. Biological monitoring is a valuable tool in the assessment of dermal absorption, in contributing to the validation of in vitro techniques, and in risk assessment and management. It will be necessary to conduct detailed investigations to support risk assessment for dermal exposure. Ultimately, predictive models will be established for exposure and for dermal absorption to support a generic approach and allow risk assessment strategies appropriate to actual workplace situations.