Analysis of finite dose dermal absorption data: implications for dermal exposure assessment

H Frederick Frasch, G Scott Dotson, Annette L Bunge, Chen-Peng Chen, John W Cherrie, Gerald B Kasting, John C Kissel, Jennifer Sahmel, Sean Semple, Simon Wilkinson

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A common dermal exposure assessment strategy estimates the systemic uptake of chemical in contact with skin using the fixed fractional absorption approach: the dermal absorbed dose is estimated as the product of exposure and the fraction of applied chemical that is absorbed, assumed constant for a given chemical. Despite the prominence of this approach there is little guidance regarding the evaluation of experiments from which fractional absorption data are measured. An analysis of these experiments is presented herein, and limitations to the fixed fractional absorption approach are discussed. The analysis provides a set of simple algebraic expressions that may be used in the evaluation of finite dose dermal absorption experiments, affording a more data-driven approach to dermal exposure assessment. Case studies are presented that demonstrate the application of these tools to the assessment of dermal absorption data.Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology advance online publication, 29 May 2013; doi:10.1038/jes.2013.23.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-73
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology
Issue number1
Early online date29 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • risk assessment
  • skin absorption
  • percent absorption
  • fractional absorption
  • dermal load
  • maximum flux
  • evaporation


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