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Consumer exposure and risk assessment to selected chemicals of mold stain remover use in Korea


Mold stain remover (MSR) is used to clean mold and mildew spots from surfaces and contains a variety of chemical substances. In this study, we estimated the inhalation and dermal exposures associated with the use of trigger spray MSRs, and performed screening-level risk assessments for the use of this type of product in Korea. Inhalation and dermal exposures were estimated using exposure algorithms based on exposure factors obtained from a nationwide survey of 10,000 participants and chemical analyses of the four most popular trigger spray MSRs. The hazard quotients (HQs) for noncancer risk and excess cancer risk (ECR) were calculated for each chemical. The mean inhalation exposure estimates for formaldehyde, benzene, chloroform, and carbon tetrachloride were 6.9 × 10−7, 1.7 × 10−7, 5.4 × 10−6, and 2.7 × 10−5 mg/kg/day, respectively. Dermal exposures of the chemicals were 5.7–6.5 times higher than inhalation exposures. The HQs for total exposure were all below 1, which indicated little noncancer risk from the use of MSRs. The safe ECR value of 1 × 10−6, was exceed in one subject for inhalation exposure of benzene and four subjects for dermal exposure of formaldehyde, while 19.8% for dermal exposure of benzene were above this value. Therefore, use of trigger spray MSRs in Korea should require more detailed exposure and risk assessment, especially for benzene.

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This study is supported by Korea Ministry of Environment as “The Environmental Health Action Program” (#2015001940002).

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Correspondence to Kiyoung Lee.

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Park, J., Lim, M., Lee, K. et al. Consumer exposure and risk assessment to selected chemicals of mold stain remover use in Korea. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 30, 888–897 (2020).

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  • Mold stain remover
  • Consumer product
  • Exposure assessment
  • Exposure factor
  • Consumer exposure
  • Risk assessment


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