NDMA has been reported in a range of cosmetics and personal care products with concentrations of up to 24ng/g . However, only 1-4% of the NDMA in cosmetic preparations was estimated to penetrate through the skin . At the maximum concentration reported by Spiegelhalder and Preussmann, 10 g of product would be expected to result in 2-10 ng of uptake of NDMA through the skin. Based on this limited amount of data cosmetics and toiletries are probably only a negligible source of NDMA for average consumers, although monitoring would be a wise precaution. No data is available on the formation of harmful substances on the skin following application and exposure to sunlight.
A significant contributor to NDMA-related health problems is workplace exposure. Industrial exposure affects workers, particularly in the rubber industry, where vulcanization and salt bath processes are applied. Concentrations reach up to 100 mg/m3in the air. This compares to concentrations of up to 0.07 mg/m3 measured in a smoky bar , indicating that occupational sources can be a significant source of NDMA exposure, albeit limited to a high occupational risk group. A correlation between risk of occupational NDMA exposure and certain types of cancer has been identified.
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