Editorial Note. Letters to the Editor are peer reviewed to ensure that the arguments are reasonable and clearly expressed. However, letters may express a particular opinion rather than a balanced interpretation. Authors of papers commented on are invited to reply, but neither the journal nor peer reviewers should be assumed to support the arguments made. Prof. J. Cherrie, raised some important issues concerning the method to assess dermal exposure of volatile organic compound (VOC) on activated charcoal cloth (ACC). The first comment is that we did not undertake any field study to test this system. Prof. Cherrie also alluded on the lack of liquid submersion testing of the ACC patches, while we only performed a (closed box) test with the gaseous phase of the VOCs. Moreover, we did not consider how these results might relate to dermal uptake. Finally, Prof. Cherrie suggests that semi-quantitative risk analysis methods such as Riskofderm and IH-Skinperm are preferred ways to predict skin exposure (when liquid immersion occurs). We acknowledge the importance of all questions raised by Prof. Cherrie and would like to address them. Firstly, several field studies are currently ongoing. In these field studies, we are simultaneously measuring air exposure, assessing skin exposure (on several body parts) and collecting urine for biomonitoring. We expect to report these data soon. We did not include field studies in the discussed paper, because the complexity of the analytical methodology development for 181 different VOCs, was challenging enough and worth reporting in a separate manuscript. To have an initial proof-of-principle, we included the controlled environment box test. Secondly, we agree with Prof. Cherrie concerning the lack of saturation testing of the ACC patches. In our paper (Creta et al., 2017), we reported this as follows (page 984, line 70): “saturation of ACC needs to be taken into account when ACC is used to assess skin exposure to VOCs in extreme exposure scenarios like spraying, pouring, or immersion in a toluene solution (Lindsay et al., 2006). Here, the saturation of ACC was not achieved. In fact, the ACC does not allow to be used for extreme exposure conditions, such as pouring or immersing in high volume of solvents”. So indeed, ACC patches are unsuitable to assess this type of skin exposure. Yet, we are setting up experiments on gloves penetration testing with VOCs in liquid state and the potential of ACC patches for quantitative analysis of penetration. Thirdly, we are certainly aware of the fact that assessing skin exposure to VOCs by ACC patches does not provide us with information about skin uptake. For this reason, we included in our field studies simultaneous analysis of urinary concentrations of selected biomarkers, next to dermal and air exposure. The method described in our paper only aims at estimating the amounts of VOCs coming into contact with the skin. Skin penetration testing should be studied separately using in silico, in vitro, or ex vivo methodologies (Dumont et al., 2015; Jakasa et al., 2015; Berthet et al., 2017). Finally, we acknowledge the importance of RA tools as Riskofderm and IH-Skinperm to estimate skin exposure and penetration. Yet, when the possibility arises, we consider it important to have quantitative data on dermal exposure. This might be achieved by using monitors like ACC patches, taking into account the aforementioned limitations and any other technical constrains. Most sincerely, Jeroen Vanoirbeek, Matteo Creta, Katrien Poels, Lode Godderis, and Radu-Corneliu Duca Declaration There is no conflict of interest by any of the authors. References Berthet A, Spring P, Vernez Det al. ( 2017) Ex vivo human skin permeation of methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI) and methylisothiazolinone (MI). Arch Toxicol : 3529– 3542. Creta M, Poels K, Thoelen Let al. ( 2017) A Method to quantitatively assess dermal exposure to volatile organic compounds. Ann Work Expo Health ; 61: 975– 85. Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Dumont C, Prieto P, Asturiol Det al. ( 2015) Review of the availability of in vitro and in silico methods for assessing dermal bioavailability. Appl In Vitro Toxicol ; 1: 147– 64. Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Jakasa I, Kezic S, Boogaard PJ. ( 2015) Dermal uptake of petroleum substances. Toxicol Lett ; 235: 123– 39. Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS PubMed Lindsay FE, Semple S, Robertson Aet al. ( 2006) Development of a biologically relevant dermal sampler. Ann Occup Hyg ; 50: 85– 94. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.
Annals of Work Exposures and Health (formerly Annals Of Occupational Hygiene) – Oxford University Press
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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