Exposure to chemicals can occur through the mouth, nose or the skin. While a lot of work has been done studying health risks of chemicals taken up through the mouth and nose, less has been done on health risks caused by chemicals getting into the body through the skin. Chemical legislation, most notably REACH, does however require information on possible health risks from dermal exposures. This ECETOC Report has therefore been developed to provide a step-wise approach for assessing and understanding health risks of substances that get onto the skin either as a solid, a liquid or when sprayed as an aerosol.
The value of the ECETOC document is that it uses a decision-tree type approach that can be used by both experienced and less experienced scientists to provide relatively simple, or if necessary refined, estimates of health risk. Several examples are provided guiding the reader through the step-wise approach. While the document is mainly for skin exposures occurring in the work place, it can also be used by those scientists interested in assessing risks from skin exposures in other settings.
The document is published as ECETOC Technical Report 119: Evaluation of Systemic Health Effects Following Dermal Exposure to Chemicals, and can be freely downloaded via http://bit.ly/ecetoc-tr119