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Establishing a system of consumer product use categories to support rapid modeling of human exposure


Consumer product categorizations for use in predicting human chemical exposure provide a bridge between product composition data and consumer product use pattern information. Furthermore, the categories reflect other factors relevant to developing consumer product exposure scenarios, such as microenvironment of use (e.g., indoors or outdoors), method of application/form of release (e.g., spray versus liquid), release to various media, removal processes (e.g., rinse-off or wipe-off), and route-specific exposure factors (dermal surface areas of application, fraction of release in respirable form). While challenging, developing harmonized product categories can generalize the factors described above allowing for rapid parameterization of route-specific exposure scenario algorithms for new chemical/product applications and efficient utilization of new data on product use or composition. This can be accomplished via mapping product categories to likewise categorized release and use patterns or exposure factors. Here, hierarchical product use categories (PUCs) for consumer products that provide such mappings are presented and crosswalked with other internationally harmonized product categories for consumer exposure assessment. The PUCs were defined by applying use and exposure scenario information to the products in EPA’s Chemical and Products Database (CPDat). This paper demonstrates how these PUCs are being used to rapidly parameterize algorithms for scenario-specific use, fate, and exposure in a probabilistic aggregate model of human exposure to chemicals used in consumer products. The PUCs provide a generic representation of consumer products for use in exposure assessment and provide an efficient framework for flexible and rapid data reporting and consumer exposure model parameterization.

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We thank Drs. Dan Vallero and Steven Prince and Ms. Tanya Spero for helpful technical review of this manuscript. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Correspondence to Kristin K. Isaacs.

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Isaacs, K.K., Dionisio, K., Phillips, K. et al. Establishing a system of consumer product use categories to support rapid modeling of human exposure. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 30, 171–183 (2020).

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  • Human exposure modeling
  • Consumer products
  • ExpoCast
  • CHEM
  • Exposure assessment

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