NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
The mismeasure of dermal absorption.
J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 2011 May; 21(3):302-309
The results of dermal absorption experiments are routinely and often exclusively reported in terms of fractional absorption. However, fractional absorption is not generally independent of skin loading conditions. As a consequence, experimental outcomes are commonly misinterpreted. This can lead in turn to poor estimation of exposures under field conditions and inadequate threat assessment. To aid interpretation of dermal absorption-related phenomena, a dimensionless group representing the ratio of mass delivery to plausible absorptive flux under experimental or environmental conditions is proposed. High values of the dimensionless dermal number (N(DERM)) connote surplus supply (i.e., flux-limited) conditions. Under such conditions, fractional absorption will generally depend on load and should not be assumed transferable to other conditions. At low values of N(DERM), dermal absorption will be delivery-limited. Under those conditions, high fractional absorption is feasible barring maldistribution or depletion due to volatilization, washing, mechanical abrasion or other means. Similar logic also applies to skin sampling and dermal toxicity testing. Skin surface sampling at low N(DERM) is unlikely to provide an appropriate measure of potential dermal dose due to depletion, whereas dermal toxicity testing at high N(DERM) is unlikely to show dose dependence due to saturation.
Humans; Men; Age-groups; Women; Models; Skin-absorption; Skin-exposure; Exposure-limits; Exposure-levels; Environmental-exposure; Environmental-factors; Author Keywords: availability; dimensionless number; flux; skin
Professor John C. Kissel, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University ofWashington, 4225 Roosevelt Way NE, Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98105
Issue of Publication
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; Manufacturing
Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology
University of Cincinnati
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division