EPHECT II: Exposure assessment to household consumer products

C. Dimitroulopoulou*, M. Trantallidi, P. Carrer, G. C. Efthimiou, J. G. Bartzis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Within the framework of the EPHECT project (Emissions, exposure patterns and health effects of consumer products in the EU), irritative and respiratory health effects were assessed in relation to acute and long-term exposure to key and emerging indoor air pollutants emitted during household use of selected consumer products. In this context, inhalation exposure assessment was carried out for six selected 'target' compounds (acrolein, formaldehyde, benzene, naphthalene, d-limonene and α-pinene). This paper presents the methodology and the outcomes from the micro-environmental modelling of the 'target' pollutants following single or multiple use of selected consumer products and the subsequent exposure assessment. The results indicate that emissions from consumer products of benzene and α-pinene were not considered to contribute significantly to the EU indoor background levels, in contrast to some cases of formaldehyde and d-limonene emissions in Eastern Europe (mainly from cleaning products). The group of housekeepers in East Europe appears to experience the highest exposures to acrolein, formaldehyde and benzene, followed by the group of the retired people in North, who experiences the highest exposures to naphthalene and α-pinene. High exposure may be attributed to the scenarios developed within this project, which follow a 'most-representative worst-case scenario' strategy for exposure and health risk assessment. Despite the above limitations, this is the first comprehensive study that provides exposure estimates for 8 population groups across Europe exposed to 6 priority pollutants, as a result of the use of 15 consumer product classes in households, while accounting for regional differences in uses, use scenarios and ventilation conditions of each region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)890-902
Number of pages13
JournalScience of the Total Environment, The
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015.


  • Exposure assessment
  • Household consumer products
  • Indoor air pollutants
  • Micro-environmental concentrations


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