Consumer exposure arises from a large diversity of products that may contain chemical compounds. Since experimental data on consumer exposure are scarce or absent, various models have been developed to estimate exposure to chemicals in or released from consumer products. RIVM has developed the following models: ConsExpo Web, PACEM, ConsExpo nano and DustEx.
ConsExpo Web is a tool/web application that provides a set of models to estimate the exposure to substances from consumer products. ConsExpo is used for many different applications across different legal frameworks such as cosmetics, biocides and pesticides. The tool is also frequently applied within REACH for higher tier estimation of exposure. The ConsExpo model is freely accessible at www.consexpoweb.nl.
ConsExpo web is maintained and continuously kept up to date by RIVM in cooperation with sister institutions ANSES (French agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety,France), BfR (Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Germany), FOPH (Federal Office of Publich Health, Switserland) and Health Canada. More background information about the ConsExpo model and project can be found at www.rivm.nl/en/consexpo
Some chemical substances, for example some fragrances and preservatives, are used in many consumer products. Examples are personal care products (e.g. shampoo, body lotion, soap), household cleaning products and do-it-yourself products. So, in one single day a person can be exposed to these substances via multiple products. To estimate the total daily exposure of a person, the exposures from all products used on that day need to be summed. For this purpose the Probabilistic Aggregate Consumer Exposure Model (PACEM) has been developed by RIVM, in cooperation with ETH Zürich and Radboud University of Nijmegen. This work has been funded by the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports and by the CEFIC Long Range Initiative program.
The model is based on realistic product usage information obtained from surveys. Currently, information on the usage (frequency and amount) of personal care products and household cleaning products in various European countries is included.
PACEM has been applied and tested for a number of substances. These were: diethyl phthalate (Delmaar et al. 2014), parabens (Gosens et al. 2014), decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5, Dudzina et al. 2015), geraniol (Nijkamp et al. 2015; Jongeneel et al. 2018), isothiazolinones (Ezendam et al (2018); Garcia-Hidalgo et al. 2018v) and bisphenols (Karrer et al. 2019). In 2021, in a project funded by the Long Range Science Strategy (LRSS) program of Cosmetics Europe, the PACEM model as described in Ezendam et al (2018) has been made available in a web tool: PACEMweb
ConsExpo nano is a tool to investigate potential consumer exposure to nanomaterials in consumer spray products. Consumers are potentially exposed to nanomaterials during use of nano-enabled consumer products. Of particular concern is the application of nanomaterials in spray products. To estimate the exposure of the consumer to nanomaterials from these products, the ConsExpo nano tool has been developed, which was adapted from the ConsExpo model for the estimation of exposure to regular substances in spray products. The tool is freely accessible at www.consexponano.nl
The DustEx model is used to assess exposure to semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) from products that are introduced in 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 and house dust. The tool is freely accessible at www.dustex.nl
The DustEx model was developed by the RIVM and ETH Zürich in the CEFIC LRI project B12. More information about the project can be found on the website of CEFIC.