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Chemosphere. 1998 Jun;36(14):3003-14.

Estimating dermal transfer from PCB-contaminated porous surfaces.

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Gradient Corporation, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


Health risks posed by dermal contact with PCB-contaminated porous surfaces have not been directly demonstrated and are difficult to estimate indirectly. Surface contamination by organic compounds is commonly assessed by collecting wipe samples with hexane as the solvent. However, for porous surfaces, hexane wipe characterization is of limited direct use when estimating potential human exposure. Particularly for porous surfaces, the relationship between the amount of organic material collected by hexane and the amount actually picked up by, for example, a person's hand touch is unknown. To better mimic PCB pickup by casual hand contact with contaminated concrete surfaces, we used alternate solvents and wipe application methods that more closely mimic casual dermal contact. Our sampling results were compared to PCB pickup using hexane-wetted wipes and the standard rubbing protocol. Dry and oil-wetted samples, applied without rubbing, picked up less than 1% of the PCBs picked up by the standard hexane procedure; with rubbing, they picked up about 2%. Without rubbing, saline-wetted wipes picked up 2.5%; with rubbing, they picked up about 12%. While the nature of dermal contact with a contaminated surface cannot be perfectly reproduced with a wipe sample, our results with alternate wiping solvents and rubbing methods more closely mimic hand contact than the standard hexane wipe protocol. The relative pickup estimates presented in this paper can be used in conjunction with site-specific PCB hexane wipe results to estimate dermal pickup rates at sites with PCB-contaminated concrete.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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