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Modeling consumer exposure to spray products: an evaluation of the ConsExpo Web and ConsExpo nano models with experimental data


To ensure safe use of chemical substances in consumer products, the exposure of consumers to these substances needs to be evaluated. For this purpose, generally consumer exposure modeling tools are used. To build confidence in such tools, evaluation of their performance with experimental data is indispensable. This work describes the evaluation of two consumer exposure modeling tools: ConsExpo Web and ConsExpo nano. Both models contain a module to estimate exposure of substances released as an aerosol during the use of spray products. This particular model was tested by comparing measured exposure data with model simulations. Experimental data were obtained from the public literature. These typically provide measured air concentrations under simulated use conditions of spray products. ConsExpo Web and ConsExpo nano were used to simulate experimental settings of the different studies. The resulting simulated air concentrations were compared with the reported ones. Overall, good agreement between modeled and measured data was observed. However, a significant proportion of the studies considered, did not provide sufficient detail in the specification of the experimental conditions to make them suitable for model evaluation. Critical information that was often lacking was on product composition, the mass sprayed during usage, and the generated aerosol size distribution.

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Fig. 1: Comparison of simulations using ConsExpo with measured data from Berger-Preiss et al. [23].
Fig. 2: Comparison of ConsExpo simulations with data from Chen et al.
Fig. 3: Comparison of ConsExpo simulations with data from DEPA.
Fig. 4: Comparison of ConsExpo simulations with data from Park et al. [25].
Fig. 5: Comparison of ConsExpo simulations with data from Delmaar and Bremmer [5].
Fig. 6: An illustration of the dependency of estimated air concentrations on the specification of the particle size (diameter) distribution.


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This work was supported by funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant no. 686239 (caLIBRAte). We thank Susan Dekkers and Martine Bakker for their help and valuable comments on this paper.

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Correspondence to Christiaan Delmaar.

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Delmaar, C., Meesters, J. Modeling consumer exposure to spray products: an evaluation of the ConsExpo Web and ConsExpo nano models with experimental data. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 30, 878–887 (2020).

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