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Assessment of Non-Occupational 1,4-Dioxane Exposure Pathways from Drinking Water and Product Use

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posted on 05.04.2022, 21:05 by Daniel Dawson, Hunter Fisher, Abigail E. Noble, Qingyu Meng, Anne Cooper Doherty, Yuko Sakano, Daniel Vallero, Rogelio Tornero-Velez, Elaine A. Cohen Hubal
1,4-Dioxane is a persistent and mobile organic chemical that has been found by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to be an unreasonable risk to human health in some occupational contexts. 1,4-Dioxane is released into the environment as industrial waste and occurs in some personal-care products as an unintended byproduct. However, limited exposure assessments have been conducted outside of an occupational context. In this study, the USEPA simulation modeling tool, Stochastic Human Exposure and Dose Simulator-High Throughput (SHEDS-HT), was adapted to estimate the exposure and chemical mass released down the drain (DTD) from drinking water consumption and product use. 1,4-Dioxane concentrations measured in drinking water and consumer products were used by SHEDS-HT to evaluate and compare the contributions of these sources to exposure and mass released DTD. Modeling results showed that compared to people whose daily per capita exposure came from only products (2.29 × 10–7 to 2.92 × 10–7 mg/kg/day), people exposed to both contaminated water and product use had higher per capita median exposures (1.90 × 10–6 to 4.27 × 10–6 mg/kg/day), with exposure mass primarily attributable to water consumption (75–91%). Last, we demonstrate through simulation that while a potential regulatory action could broadly reduce DTD release, the proportional reduction in exposure would be most significant for people with no or low water contamination.