Quantifying the Transfer of Optical Brighteners from Fabric to Skin
Marks, Julia Lathem
MetadataShow full item record
Many commercial textiles (clothing, linens, upholstery, furniture) are impregnated, or may be contaminated with, chemicals capable of penetrating the skin. Several researchers have detected high concentrations of metals, pesticides, flame-retardants, phthalates, and optical brighteners in child and adult clothing items. Other studies have demonstrated that chemicals in clothing can migrate into the body by measuring target compound metabolite concentrations in blood and urine. However, the fabric-to-skin pathway remains poorly quantified. The purpose of this study is to measure the rate at which a low volatility optical brightener might transfer from clothing to the skin and into the bloodstream. In this experimental study, [14C]-7-hydroxycoumarin was applied to three types of fabrics in two fabric concentrations. Human cadaver skin was exposed to the loaded fabric in vitro for 24-hours. Migration of the radiolabeled compound was quantified by liquid scintillation counting (LSC). These data enable the calculation of flux to and through skin (pg/cm2/hr) as well as the rates of mass transfer (cm/hr). Analyses suggest that dermal exposure to chemicals in textiles can contribute to the total body burden of water soluble, low volatility compounds. Quantification of transfer rates in the fabric-to-skin pathway can aid in the assessment of fabrics as a source for chronic low-dose exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.
- Environmental health