In evaluating the risks presented by dermal exposure to chemicals, it is essential that producers, processors and consumers can reliably estimate the amount of a substance deposited on body clothing surfaces from typical activities associated with its use. In assessing the health risks presented by such deposition, account will need to be taken of deposition rates and the real effectiveness of regimens and equipment designed to afford protection to exposed individuals. In the present Technical Guidance Documents for risk assessments for new and existing substances methods used to estimate dermal exposure are crude and are often derived from'worst case' scenario's. This can lead to serious over-estimations of industrial dermal exposure in the risk assessment by the authorities. For industrial chemicals, only limited data are available. The lack of data is further compounded by the fact that where it is available, then it mostly derives from situations where high dermal exposure can readily be expected e.g. spraying of agrochemicals.
Little effort has been made to characterise the nature of dermal deposition arising from typical activities representative of the chemical industry. Similarly, little work has been under taken to assess the effectiveness of everyday regimens and equipment designed to afford protection against dermal exposure. In order to begin to characterise the practical importance of dermal deposition as a risk of exposure for chemicals, it is recommended that a project is established which screens available literature. It is anticipated that the project will need to define a standard basis for quantifying exposure, in order that the range of techniques currently in use can be compared. In this manner it is expected that coherent proposals will be developed to investigate key data gaps in the field of dermal risk assessment and management.
Proposals submitted for consideration should follow the format of the application from'Application for a CEFIC-LRI Grant' and should address the following areas under individual subheadings:
The title of the research proposal.
The name and affiliation of the principal investigator and the laboratory or laboratories in which the research will be conducted.
Evidence of the principal investigator's knowledge of, and contribution to, current understandings of the role of dermal exposure and deposition of chemical substances.
A clear definition of the research objectives, including a description of the mechanistic basis for the proposed research.
A clear plan of investigation, including a clearly defined milestone plan that identifies all critical decision points in the research programme.
A detailed breakdown of costs.
The successful applicant(s) will be required to submit a progress report every 6 months during the course of the programme. At the end of the project, a detailed review of the project and the achievements made will be provided by the principal investigator. The successful applicant(s) will also be required to prepare for publication a manuscript describing the work undertaken and the results achieved.
Sponsor a project for screening the literature on dermal deposition in the chemical industry under normal working conditions. Define the input of monitoring techniques upon data variability and confidence.
Explore the impact of common handling procedures on dermal deposition. Explore the impact of physical state (gas, vapour, liquid, solid, particle size, and aerosol dustiness) on dermal deposition.
Explore the impact of physico-chemical properties on dermal deposition.
Characterise the effectiveness of frequently encountered personal protective regimens on dermal exposure.
Define the nature of identified data gaps and develop proposals to address these, e.g. sponsorship of studies aimed at characterising clothing/surface contamination and dermal exposure to solids in key scenario's.