Exposure to chemicals in consumer products: The role of the near-field environment

Peter Fantke, S.A. Csiszar, L. Huang, O. Jolliet

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    Humans can be exposed to chemicals in consumer products during product use
    and environmental releases with inhalation, ingestion, and dermal uptake as
    typical exposure routes. Nevertheless, chemical exposure modeling has traditionally focused on the far-field with near-field indoor models only recently
    gaining attention. Further, models that are mostly emissions-based, may not
    necessarily be applicable to all types of chemical release from consumer products. To address this gap, we (1) define a framework to simultaneously account for exposure to chemicals in the near- and far-field, (2) determine chemical product concentrations for various functional use categories, (3) introduce a quantitative metric linking exposure to chemical mass in products, the Product Intake Fraction (PiF), and (4) demonstrate our framework for various consumer product categories. This framework lends itself to high-throughput calculations for characterizing exposure to the vast consumer product chemical space. The chemical mass in products is used as a starting point for quantifying human exposure obtained by multiplying the chemical concentration (e.g. % w/w) in the product with the amount of product used per defined application. Chemical concentrations in products can be obtained from empirical studies, formulations and associations described in databases, or when unavailable, estimated based on chemical-product functions or regulatory frame formulations. Exposure is quantified by estimating the PiF, the fraction of the chemical in a product that is taken in by humans via each exposure pathway, considering specific compartments of entry into the near-field environment (releases of chemicals encapsulated in articles, indoor air spray, etc.). To est
    imate PiFs, we combined far-field environmental compartments with near
    -field compartments and exposure pathways in a multimedia matrix of transfer fractions, with columns and rows for each compartment and exposure pathway. The multiple transfers and PiFs (e.g. from chemicals encapsulated in articles to inhalation of indoor air and dermal uptake via skin contact) were obtained by inverting the transfer fractions matrix, yielding cumulative multimedia transfer fractions. PiFs for various chemicals in products were found to be on the order of 1x10-7 for semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in thick flooring, 5x10
    -3 for VOCs in indoor air spray, and up to 95% or even higher for ingredients in leave-on cosmetic products.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSETAC Europe 26th Annual Meeting : Environmental contaminants from land to sea: continuities and interface in environmental toxicology and chemistry
    Publication date2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventSETAC Europe 26th Annual Meeting: Environmental contaminants from land to sea: continuities and interface in environmental toxicology and chemistry - La Cite Nantes Congress Center, Nantes, France
    Duration: 22 May 201626 May 2016
    Conference number: 22


    ConferenceSETAC Europe 26th Annual Meeting
    LocationLa Cite Nantes Congress Center
    Internet address


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