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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter September 3, 2014

Percutaneous absorption from soil

  • Rosa Marie Andersen EMAIL logo , Garrett Coman , Nicholas R. Blickenstaff and Howard I. Maibach


Some natural sites, as a result of contaminants emitted into the air and subsequently deposited in soil or accidental industrial release, have high levels of organic and non-organic chemicals in soil. In occupational and recreation settings, these could be potential sources of percutaneous exposure to humans. When investigating percutaneous absorption from soil – in vitro or vivo – soil load, particle size, layering, soil “age” time, along with the methods of performing the experiment and analyzing the results must be taken into consideration. Skin absorption from soil is generally reduced compared with uptake from water/acetone. However, the absorption of some compounds, e.g., pentachlorophenol, chlorodane and PCB 1254, are similar. Lipophilic compounds like dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, benzo[A]pyrene, and metals have the tendency to form reservoirs in skin. Thus, one should take caution in interpreting results directly from in vitro studies for risk assessment; in vivo validations are often required for the most relevant risk assessment.

Corresponding author: Dr. Rosa Marie Andersen, Room 110, 90 Medical Center Way, Surge Bldg., San Francisco, CA 94143-0989, USA, Phone: +1 415 696-9578, Fax: +1 415 673-3533, E-mail: ; and Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA


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Received: 2014-7-23
Accepted: 2014-7-29
Published Online: 2014-9-3
Published in Print: 2014-8-1

©2014 by De Gruyter

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