The Measurement of the Dermal Bioavailability of Potentially Harmful Organic Soil Contaminants

Lort, Jack A. L. (2022) The Measurement of the Dermal Bioavailability of Potentially Harmful Organic Soil Contaminants. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Currently only one value is used to predict the human health risk of the dermal absorption of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) from soil for contaminated land risk assessments. Research has shown that soil PAH dermal bioavailability differs between soils, and additionally that differences in skin physiology results in variation in the quantity of PAH absorbed. The current PAH dermal bioavailability value used in risk assessments was generated using soil spiked with radiolabelled PAH in a solvent, overestimating PAH soil mobility and therefore creating uncertainty in the dermal bioavailability value. Consequently, this study aims to develop a lab-based method to quantify the in vitro dermal absorption of native PAH from ‘real-world’ soils to produce soil-specific PAH dermal bioavailability values. PAH dermal bioavailability is defined here as: “The fraction of the PAH concentration that is absorbed into and/or through the skin”.

Building on previous research, this study used a vertical diffusion cell experimental set-up, with an artificial skin membrane as a skin substitute, to reduce variability in PAH absorption data. PAH extraction and quantification methods were determined for: the soil, membrane (representative skin) and receptor solution (representative systemic circulation), in order to quantify the concentration of PAH dermally absorbed. The artificial membrane was validated by comparing the absorption rate of PAH from a solvent through the membrane, to published studies that had used excised human skin. The artificial membrane produced PAH absorption rates within the published values. The developed method was used to quantify the dermal absorption of PAH from contaminated soils. The results indicate that the soil-specific dermal absorption of native PAH is much lower than the current dermal bioavailability value (mean 97.5% reduction), and PAH dermal absorption varies between soils. Further research is needed to identify the key soil factors that impact soil PAH dermal bioavailability.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Vane, Christopher
Jones, Matthew
Beriro, Darren
Thomas, Russell
Taylor, Chris
Nathanail, Paul
Keywords: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAH, dermal bioavailability, contaminated land, human health, method development, risk assessment, soil contaminants
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QD Chemistry > QD241 Organic chemistry
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Geography
Item ID: 69705
Depositing User: Lort, Jack
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2023 12:52
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2023 12:52

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