ConsExpo Web

ConsExpo Web is a web-based software tool that supports the assessment of  consumer exposure to substances in consumer products. ConsExpo Web provides a number of generally applicable exposure assessment models and a database of exposure factors. Together, the models and the database provide a basis on which exposure from a specific product can be estimated. Fact sheets provide well-founded bases for exposure scenarios to different product categories and provide default values for several parameters. When information is available on product composition and the physicochemical properties of the specific substance a consumer exposure assessment can be performed using ConsExpo Web.

Yes, ConsExpo Web is free to use. You only need to  register yourself as a user at www.consexpoweb.nl.

The Manual ‘ConsExpo Web. Consumer exposure models – model documentation. Update for ConsExpo Web 1.0.2.' provides user guidance and background information on the ConsExpo Web tool.

This manual describes in detail how to conduct consumer exposure assessments with ConsExpo Web. It describes how to add multiple scenarios to an assessment, how to select models and how to select model inputs. Different output measures and methods of evaluating and visualizing exposure are also discussed. The manual also provides a detailed description of the ConsExpo models. ConsExpo Web contains models to estimate exposure via inhalation, dermal contact and oral ingestion. The exposure models vary in complexity, from simple screening models to more advanced, physics-based models. Furthermore, it is explained how ConsExpo can be used to obtain insight into the factors affecting exposure to substances in consumer products by using the sensitivity analysis and probabilistic evaluation tools.

The most recent manual on ConsExpo Web can be found via the Help page (Tab in ConsExpo Web; https://www.rivm.nl/en/consexpo/help), as RIVMRijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu report on the website (https://www.rivm.nl/bibliotheek/rapporten/2017-0197.pdf).

Besides, ConsExpo Web contains question mark buttons  ?  in the tool. When you click on the question mark, information on the model and exposure parameters is provided. Information and further developments on the model and Consumer Exposure in general are shared via the LinkedIn community “Consumer Exposure and ConsExpo”.  (LINK: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8101146/)

When you still have questions, you can approach the ConsExpo team via consexpo@rivm.nl

The ConsExpo team has provided beginner and advanced courses. On request, tailor courses can be developed  and given at your institute or organisation. At the moment, no courses are planned. Please contact us if you are interested to follow a course at consexpo@rivm.nl for more information.

The previous versions of ConsExpo Web were the versions CONSEXPO, CONSEXPO 2, CONSEXPO 3, ConsExpo 4.0, ConsExpo 4.1 and a separate version including an aggregate exposure option ConsExpo 5 beta. The first two versions of ConsExpo were stand-alone versions that were primarily for internal use at RIVMRijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu. The 5 beta version, though available in the past via our website, was never officially released.

ConsExpo Web replaced ConsExpo 4.1 as the latest official version. The functionalities present in ConsExpo 4.1 have been included in ConsExpo Web, with addition of the emission tool.
Please note that ConsExpo 4.1 files can be imported in the ConsExpo Web tool. There is no longer support for ConsExpo 4.1 software related issues. Nevertheless, questions related to the models used for the calculations with ConsExpo 4.1 can still be send to
consexpo@rivm.nl.  

ConsExpo Web can be used to assess the exposure to substances from consumer products .. The tool includes different models to assess the exposure by the inhalation, dermal and oral route. Further, the tool provides defaults for a wide variety of products via a built-in database based on several product category fact sheets (see fact sheets) The ConsExpo user can also setup and safe one’s own assessment.

The exposure models are a subset of models per exposure route. The inhalation route is subdivided into exposure to vapour (instantaneous release, constant rate, evaporation), exposure to spray (instantaneous release, spray model), and emission from solid materials (emission tool).

The dermal route can be assessed with 5 different models: instant application, constant rate, diffusion, migration and rubbing off.

The oral route can be assessed using models from the direct product contact subset (direct oral intake, constant rate, mouthing), from migration from food packaging material, and the oral exposure can be assessed with the non-respirable spray model (included in the spray model under inhalation route).

 

The required input varies depending on the exposure route and type of model selected. Basically, ConsExpo Web requires information on the product, the substance of interest, the residential setting where the product is used and on the subject that is exposed. The latter could be the subject applying the product, both could also be a resident.

 

Default values to parameterize the spray model have changed over time. Differences exist between the default values now included in ConsExpo Web compared to the values in the product fact sheets published in 2006 and 2007. Please note that the values as presented in ConsExpo Web and in the Cleaning agents Fact Sheet are up to date.

The updated defaults stem from spray experiments conducted on request of RIVMRijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu in the period 2005 to 2007. The experiments and findings were reported in Delmaar & Bremmer, (2009; https://www.rivm.nl/bibliotheek/rapporten/320104005.pdf). This report resulted in new defaults that were sperately documented in 2010 (https://www.rivm.nl/documenten/new-defaults-for-spray-model). At that time, ConsExpo 4.1 received a database update including those new defaults. As such, the new defaults have also been copied into ConsExpo Web (available since October 2016).

Additional information with regard to spray model defaults can be found in the “overarchings issues document”( https://www.rivm.nl/documenten/overarching-issues-consexpo-web-and-fact…).

The factor for dilution is currently only implemented in the inhalation model.

For a cleaning product, for both the dermal and inhalation route, the weight fraction is the weight fraction (concentration) of the chemical substance in the product.
In case of the inhalation model, the dilution can be included by filling in a value at the factor for dilution.
In case of the dermal model, the dilution is already included in the product amount set as default for that type of product, when using defaults from the ConsExpo database.  

Molecular weight of the matrix: this parameter needs to be defined if the substance in question is not in its pure form, but part of a product. It is the average molecular weight of the rest of the total product (the product minus the substance in question).

A formula how to derive this from the concentrations and molecular weights of the components of the product can be found at page 36 of 67 of the manual (RIVMRijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu report 2017-0197).  

Information on the migration rate of a specific chemical substance from a specific matrix/article might be found in the scientific literature. However, this migration rate differs per combination of substance and matrix.
Some information is available in the following OECDOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development document:

  • OECD-document “Estimating Mouthing Exposure in Children - Compilation of Case Studies

http://www.oecd.org/officialdocuments/publicdisplaydocumentpdf/?cote=ENV/JM/MONO(2019)24&doclanguage=en

 

The 10% of amount on the skin is available for oral ingestion due to hand-to-mouth behavior is described in the Pest Control Fact Sheet. However, it is not by any means a fixed default that can be used for other products without context.
In the particular exposure scenario for pest control products, it is assumed that 50% of the contaminated hands from rubbing treated surfaces is contacted by the mouth leading to oral ingestion. Fifty percent of the hand surface area equals to 10% of the total exposed skin area in that exposure scenario (the hands make up 20% of the total uncovered skin of infants contacted a treated surface).  

The inhalation cut-off diameter is only an approximation of the complicated process of deposition of particles in the lung. It can be assumed that its value will be around 10-15 micrometer for particles able to reach the lower regions of the lungs. It is acknowledged that for smaller particles higher percentages will reach the lower lungs. In the past, the ConsExpo project team made the choice for 15 µm and for consistency reasons this is not changed later on.

Several exposure parameters can be linked, or correlated, to each other. For example, the amount of a product used is correlated with the surface area that can be covered by the product. Currently, ConsExpo Web does not take into account such correlations when performing a probabilistic exposure assessment or when a sensitivity analysis is performed. The user must take this into account when inserting the input values for the parameters. It is advised to document correlated input parameters in the comments section, this will be automatically documented in the report provided by ConsExpo Web.

The weight fraction of a substance in a product may change upon contact due to dilution, evaporation of solvents, and/or at the moment there is dermal contact. For example, the inhalation exposure can occur from the concentrated product, but dermal exposure will only occur upon contact with the solution containing the product.

In the oral model “product mouthing” in ConsExpo Web an exposure duration is requested. This is the amount of time a product is mouthed. Within the ConsExpo project, currently no default mouthing times are included.

The following documents might help you to select a relevant mouthing time for your scenario:

  • RIVMRijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu report “Oral exposure of children to chemicals via hand-to-mouth contact”(320005004/2007)

https://www.rivm.nl/bibliotheek/rapporten/320005004.pdf

  • REACH consumer exposure guidance (R15 from 2016); on page 24 – Chapter R.15.2.5. Habits and practices of children

https://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/13632/information_requirements_r15_en.pdf

  • OECDOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development-document “Estimating Mouthing Exposure in Children - Compilation of Case Studies

http://www.oecd.org/officialdocuments/publicdisplaydocumentpdf/?cote=ENV/JM/MONO(2019)24&doclanguage=en

  • US-EPAUnited States Environmental Protection Agency Children's exposure factors handbook (2008); see Table 4-15

 https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/risk/recordisplay.cfm?deid=199243

 

Fact Sheets

Fact sheets are documents presenting exposure information to derive standardized and harmonized estimations of the exposure to substances from consumer products,  while using ConsExpo Web. In the fact sheets, information about exposure to chemical substances is compiled per certain product categories and default parameters are given. Main product categories with similar products have been defined. Fact sheets provide background information on a product category. Fact sheets contain information on various exposure scenarios for the specific products and set defaults for relevant exposure parameters. On the one hand, the fact sheets are developed for characterizing and standardizing the exposure estimation in combination with the ConsExpo Web tool. On the other hand, the information in the fact sheet is useful for any consumer exposure estimation without the use of the software. The default values are presented as deterministic values, but, if available, the statistical information is also provided if possible.

The following fact sheets are available:

During the development of ConsExpo Web and the update of the Cleaning Products Fact Sheet several overarching issues were discussed and implemented that are also of relevance for other product category Fact Sheets. As the update of all product category Fact Sheets may take several years, the information on the discussed topics is described in the document ‘Overarching issues – ConsExpo Web and fact sheets’.  

The ConsExpo2015 project aims to update existing fact sheets and develop new fact sheets on additional product categories.
Currently, work is ongoing regarding the Fact Sheets on Do-It-Yourself Products, Cosmetics and Air Fresheners. For more information on (the development of) fact sheets, please contact
consexpo@rivm.nl.

The reader is guided through the fact sheet and finds information about the aim to assess the exposure to a high-end user, and on the exposure scenario, model selection, input parameters, data quality and uncertainties.
The reader is always advised to check the default scenarios with their own substance and product of interest and adjust parameters if needed. Note that the parameters are selection within the context of the exposure scenario and model selection and should not be used as such outside this context.

The defaults provided in the fact sheets are incorporated into the ConsExpo Web software. Behind the screens a database is linked to the software containing the model selection and input parameters per consumer product. The user can select the button ‘use fact sheet’ to search for the product within the database and to pre-fill the default values into the models. There is no need for manual inserting the default values. Note that the default values can always be overwritten.

It is possible to use ConsExpo for estimating the consumer exposure to chemicals present in textile products. However, currently the ConsExpo Web tool does not contain default scenarios for textile products and toys.  

ConsExpo is developed as a model for consumer exposure estimation to chemical substances in consumer products used indoors.
In the case of inhalation exposure, for some specific products, such as anti-rain spray or a biocidal spray, used outdoors, ConsExpo Web could be used. In that case, we would suggest using a personal breathing zone. The use of a large room volume to reflect the outdoor ventilation condition is not advised as this will result in an unrealistic dilution.

Other ConsExpo Web tool related questions

ConsExpo Web contains a report functionality. Using the download option, all textual information, parameter values and the calculated exposures can be exported as a .csvcomma separated values file, which can be imported in Excel.

As not all ConsExpo Web users find it easy to use the saved *.csv file;  we elaborated a stepwise  instruction:

1. In ConsExpo Web, download and save your *.csv file to your chosen location/folder.

2. Start Excel with a blank workbook open.

3. Select 'Data' from the menu bar.

4. Browse for the *.csv file you want to open and click 'Import'.

5. In the Text import wizard, ensure the 'Delimited' option is selected. Click Next.

6. In the Delimiters section, tick 'Comma'. The text qualifier box should show the double-quote symbol. Click Next.

7. In the Column data format section, tick 'Text'. Click Finish.

8. It may ask you 'Where do you want to put the data?'. It will allow you to click into any cell on the blank worksheet to determine where the data should go. Click 'OK' to proceed.

9. The data should now appear in the spreadsheet. Where column headings are included, these will appear in the top row. Check that fields have not lost leading zeros where applicable.

With the result page as well as the report page, you could tick the box “show dose descriptions”, for some explanation on the exposure outcomes.

The most recent manual can be found via the Help page (Tab in ConsExpo Web; https://www.rivm.nl/en/consexpo/help), as RIVMRijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu report on the website (https://www.rivm.nl/bibliotheek/rapporten/2017-0197.pdf).

There is no defined limit to the number of assessments that can be stored in ConsExpo Web.
However, the tool was not designed to handle large numbers of assessments efficiently.
It is advised, for practical reasons, to store your assessments on a local or network space and import the Ce-file when needed.  

A Penetration test has been carried out on ConsExpo Web by an external party. The application has been extensively tested on this aspect and no vulnerabilities have been found.

ConsExpo Web is a web application where users must register and develop a personal log in. Only registered users have access to ConsExpo Web to perform exposure assessments.  Registered users have only access to their own assessments (files). User management is done through a decent standard access manager server that is used for RIVMRijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu services. A password policy has been set up in which passwords must be sufficiently strong.

During development, special attention was devoted to keeping the assessments of the various users separate, to ensure users can not retrieve data from another user in any way via the web interface. ConsExpo Web is run on a dedicated RIVM server.

ConsExpo2015 project

The ConsExpo2015 project was initiated by RIVMRijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu to ensure a sustainable future for the ConsExpo software. Within the ConsExpo2015 project a web-based version of the ConsExpo software is developed and the actualisation started of the underlying exposure information in fact sheets on consumer product use. The project is financed and run by a number of partners. The partners and RIVM have a central role in the ConsExpo2015 project as they are members of the Supervisory Committee, the actual client of the project. In addition, the  project has an Advisory Group representing users and other stakeholders of the ConsExpo model.

 

 

The present partners of the ConsExpo2015 project are Anses, BfR, FOPH and Health Canada.  The partners contribute financially and/or in kind to the ConsExpo2015 project. The Dutch Government (Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports and the Netherlands Food and Product Safety Authority) have contributed to the development of ConsExpo since 1993 and are still proud partners of the ConsExpo2015 project.

ECHAEuropean Chemicals Agency are observers in the Supervisory Committee of the ConsExpo2015 project.

https://www.rivm.nl/en/consexpo/partners


 

 

 

 

Governmental, semi-governmental and/or scientific organisations can join the ConsExpo2015 project as partner. As partner, you contribute financially and become member of the Supervisory Committee overseeing the ConsExpo project and making strategic choices on the development of the project. 

Partners can contribute both financially as well as in kind to the project. If you are interested, please contact us: consexpo@rivm.nl

The Advisory Group is open to all ConsExpo Web users and stakeholders.