Multi-pathway exposure modelling of chemicals in cosmetics with application to shampoo

Alexi S. Ernstoff, Peter Fantke, Susan A. Csiszar, Andrew D. Henderson, Susie Chung, Olivier Jolliet

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    We present a novel multi-pathway, mass balance based, fate and exposure model compatible with life cycle and high-throughput screening assessments of chemicals in cosmetic products. The exposures through product use as well as post-use emissions and environmental media were quantified based on the chemical mass originally applied via a product, multiplied by the product intake fractions (PiF, the fraction of a chemical in a product that is taken in by exposed persons) to yield intake rates. The average PiFs for the evaluated chemicals in shampoo ranged from 3 × 10− 4 up to 0.3 for rapidly absorbed ingredients. Average intake rates ranged between nano- and micrograms per kilogram bodyweight per day; the order of chemical prioritization was strongly affected by the ingredient concentration in shampoo. Dermal intake and inhalation (for 20% of the evaluated chemicals) during use dominated exposure, while the skin permeation coefficient dominated the estimated uncertainties. The fraction of chemical taken in by a shampoo user often exceeded, by orders of magnitude, the aggregated fraction taken in by the population through post-use environmental emissions. Chemicals with relatively high octanol-water partitioning and/or volatility, and low molecular weight tended to have higher use stage exposure. Chemicals with low intakes during use (< 1%) and subsequent high post-use emissions, however, may yield comparable intake for a member of the general population. The presented PiF based framework offers a novel and critical advancement for life cycle assessments and high-throughput exposure screening of chemicals in cosmetic products demonstrating the importance of consistent consideration of near- and far-field multi-pathway exposures.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnvironment International
    Pages (from-to)87–96
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Exposure
    • Life cycle assessment
    • High-throughput screening
    • Cosmetics
    • Personal care products

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