Web-based Tool to Aid the Identification of Chemicals Potentially Posing a Health Risk through Percutaneous Exposure

Occupational hygiene practitioners typically assess the risk posed by
occupational exposure by comparing exposure measurements to regulatory
occupational exposure limits (OELs). In most jurisdictions, OELs are only
available for exposure by the inhalation pathway. Skin notations are used to
indicate substances for which dermal exposure may lead to health effects.
However, these notations are either present or absent and provide no indication
of acceptable levels of exposure.
Furthermore, the methodology and framework for assigning skin notation differ
widely across jurisdictions resulting in inconsistencies in the substances that
carry notations. The UPERCUT tool was developed in response to these
limitations. It helps occupational health stakeholders to assess the hazard
associated with dermal exposure to chemicals. UPERCUT integrates dermal
quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) and toxicological data to
provide users with a skin hazard index called the dermal hazard ratio (DHR) for
the substance and scenario of interest. The DHR is the ratio between the
estimated ‘received' dose and the ‘acceptable' dose.

The ‘received' dose is estimated using physico-chemical data and information on
the exposure scenario provided by the user (body parts exposure and exposure
duration), and the ‘acceptable' dose is estimated using inhalation OELs and
toxicological data. The uncertainty surrounding the DHR is estimated with Monte
Carlo simulation. Additional information on the selected substances includes
intrinsic skin permeation potential of the substance and the existence of skin
UPERCUT is the only available tool that estimates the absorbed dose and
compares this to an acceptable dose. In the absence of dermal OELs it provides
a systematic and simple approach for screening dermal exposure scenarios for
1686 substances.

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AplusA-online.de - Source: The Annals of Occupational Hygiene