NIOSH Skin Documents Focus on Dermal Exposures

There are 45 Skin Notation Profiles available on the NIOSH website.

Forty-five Skin Notation Profiles are currently available via the NIOSH website, AIHA reported Dec. 30, with dozens more on the way during the next few years, according to the agency. These documents are intended to create more awareness about the potential hazards that come from chemicals that contact the skin.

AIHA said this marks a change in strategy that NIOSH adopted in 2009.

"The former strategy, which just used the word 'skin' to represent dermal absorption, really did not capture all the complexity associated with dermal exposures. It did not tell you what the health endpoint was," explained Scott Dotson, Ph.D., CIH, a lead health scientist with the agency's Education and Information Division in Cincinnati. Under the new strategy, Dotson said, "we're looking at the health effects and we've expanded beyond dermal absorption to include irritation, sensitization, and systemic toxicity."

Some of the chemicals that are in line for profiles include those that are important to first responders.

"To prioritize chemicals for review under the new strategy, NIOSH first assessed the 160 chemicals that had previously been assigned the dermal absorption notation," said Naomi Hudson, DrPH, a NIOSH epidemiologist who serves as the project officer for the Skin Notation Profiles.

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