The percutaneous absorption rates and permeation kinetics of dermal exposure to methanol (67561) were examined. Sequential blood samples were collected from 12 volunteers before and after up to 16 minutes of hand immersion in methanol. A two compartment model representing the exposed skin and the rest of the body was used to determine permeation kinetics. Baseline methanol concentrations in the blood averaged 1.7+/-0.9 milligrams per liter (mg/l). The average baseline methanol concentration in females, 2.4+/-0.8mg/l, was significantly higher than that in males, 1.3+/-0.8mg/l. Baseline and maximum methanol concentrations varied considerably within and between subjects. The maximum methanol concentration in the blood exhibited a strong linear relationship with exposure duration. In females, the average maximum methanol concentration increased from 0.5+/-0.5mg/l with no exposure to 9.8+/-1.2mg/l with 16 minutes of exposure. In males, the average maximum methanol concentration increased from 1.0+/-0.7mg/l with no exposure to 12.5+/-2.2mg/l with 16 minutes of exposure. On average, maximum methanol concentrations were 24% higher in males than in females. Maximum methanol concentrations were sampled an average of 1.9+/-1.0 hours following exposure. The maximum methanol concentrations did not exhibit significant relationships with body weight or exposed skin area. The area under the curve was highly correlated with exposure duration and maximum methanol concentrations. Methanol delivery into the blood, which increased with exposure duration, peaked at 0.5 hours after exposure. The methanol absorption rate averaged 8.1+/-3.7 milligrams per centimeter per hour, regardless of exposure duration. The authors conclude that the above absorption and permeation rates may be useful in the biological monitoring and mathematical modeling of dermal methanol exposure.
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