Consumer Products as a Source of Human Exposure to Chemicals

Lei Huang, Peter Fantke, Olivier Jolliet

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


The various consumer products that we use in our everyday life contain a large variety of chemicals, both intentionally added and unintentionally present. Humans can be exposed to these chemicals via different pathways. Assessing human exposure to chemicals in consumer products is complex, considering the thousands of chemicals involved in thousands of products used according to various usage patterns and by different users. In the present chapter, we first give an overview of exposure to chemicals in consumer products, including the nature of the problem, how it is addressed in different regulatory contexts, and the status of exposure assessment in various frameworks including risk assessment, alternatives assessment and life cycle assessment. We then discuss how to best assess human exposure to chemicals in consumer products, and describe selected experimental and modeling methods to quantify these exposures. Next, we review the main facets of exposure to chemicals in specific consumer products, including spray products, building materials and furniture, children's toys, food contact materials, cleaning and home maintenance products, personal care products, textiles, and recycled materials. We finally explain how exposure results can be combined with chemical hazard information to evaluate human health impacts in different assessment frameworks, and give an outlook of future research needs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Pollutant Exposures and Public Health
Publication date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
SeriesIssues in Environmental Science and Technology

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