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Chemosphere. 2007 Nov;69(10):1540-7. Epub 2007 Jul 13.

Concentrations of synthetic musk compounds in personal care and sanitation products and human exposure profiles through dermal application.

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  • 1Toxicological Centre, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Wilrijk, Belgium.


Synthetic musks, such as 7-acetyl-1,1,3,4,4,6-hexamethyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydronaphthalene (AHTN) and 1,3,4,6,7,8-hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8-hexamethylcyclopenta-gamma-2-benzopyran (HHCB), musk ketone (MK) and musk xylene (MX), are used as an alternative for natural musk. Due to their widespread use, these synthetic compounds turned up in different environmental compartments, such as wastewater, human and animal tissues. Yet, little is known about their distribution and occurrence in personal care and household products, information needed in order to evaluate the different human exposure routes. This paper gives an overview of the synthetic musk levels in six different product categories: body lotions, perfumes, deodorants, hair care products, shower products and sanitation products. Especially body lotions, perfumes and deodorants contained high levels of synthetic musks. Maximum concentrations of HHCB, AHTN, MX and MK were 22 mg g(-1), 8 mg g(-1), 26 microg g(-1) and 0.5 microg g(-1), respectively. By combining these results with the average usage of consumer products, low-, medium- and high-exposure profiles through dermal application could be estimated. HHCB was the highest contributor to the total amount of synthetic musks in every exposure profile (18-23 700 microg d(-1)). Exposure to MK and MX did not increase substantially (10-20-fold) between low- and high-exposure profiles, indicating that these compounds cover a less broad range. In comparison, exposure to HHCB and AHTN increased up to 10 000 fold between low- and high-exposure.

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