DustEx is a model to assess exposure to semi-volatile substances from consumer products that are introduced into the indoor environment.

The typical products considered are solid material products (e.g. flooring, wall covering, electronic devices).  SVOCs are released from these products into indoor air. Depending on their physicochemical properties, these substances may subsequently adsorb to

  • airborne particles
  • indoor surfaces
  • house dust.

Adults and children in the room are exposed to SVOCs by:

  • inhalation of the substance in the gas phase,
  • inhalation of substance bound to airborne particles,
  • dermal absorption of the substance from air (gas phase) and
  • oral ingestion of the substance with dust.

For SVOCs released indoors it may not be clear beforehand which of these pathway(s) will be relevant. The DustEx model calculates the daily average exposure to the substance via each of these four pathways. For this reason DustEx enables a more complete assessment of exposure, reducing the probability of overlooking crucial pathways in the exposure assessment.

DustEx calculates the daily average exposure of the substance via each of the pathways separately as well as the total, aggregate, exposure via all pathways combined. In addition to deterministic calculations, the DustEx tool also supports probabilistic evaluations.

The model was developed by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment and ETH Zürich in the CEFIC LRI project B12. It has been evaluated by comparing the results to those of field experiments (Sukiene et al. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2016 : 50 (8), pp 4296–4303) performed by ETH Zürich.

If you have questions or suggestions for the improvement of DustEx, please contact us at dustex@rivm.nl.
Professionals who would like to stay informed of the developments on DustEx and other models for consumer exposure can join the dedicated LinkedIn community ‘Consumer Exposure and ConsExpo'