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Perspectives on advancing consumer product exposure models


Predictive models are used to estimate exposures from consumer products to support risk management decision-making. These model predictions may be used alone in the absence of measured data or integrated with available exposure data. When different models are used, the resulting estimates of exposure and conclusions of risk may be disparate and the origin of these differences may not be obvious. This Perspectives Paper provides recommendations that could promote more systematic evaluation and a wider range of applicability of consumer product exposure models and their predictions, improve confidence in model predictions, and result in more accurate communication of consumer exposure model estimates. Key insights for the exposure science community to consider include: consistency in product descriptions, exposure routes, and scenarios; consistent and explicit definitions of exposure metrics; situation-dependent benefits from using one or multiple models; distinguishing between model algorithms and exposure factors; and corroboration of model predictions with measured data.

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Special acknowledgement is made for assistance with models to Charles Bevington, currently at the US Consumer Product Safety Council but previously at US EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics and Kristen Isaacs of US EPA’s National Exposure Research Laboratory. The authors are indebted to many peers who commented on the model comparisons and our observations, including members of the American Chemistry Council’s Exposure Assessment Working Group. Financial support to some authors was provided by the American Chemistry Council.


Funding to some authors is provided by the American Chemistry Council.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Christina Cowan-Ellsberry.

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Conflict of interest

The authors, HQ and RTZ, are currently or were previously employed by ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences, Inc., a separately incorporated but wholly owned affiliate of Exxon Mobil Corporation. The other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Cowan-Ellsberry, C., Zaleski, R.T., Qian, H. et al. Perspectives on advancing consumer product exposure models. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 30, 856–865 (2020).

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  • Consumer products
  • Exposure models
  • Exposure scenarios
  • Exposure metrics

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