DREAM: a method for semi-quantitative dermal exposure assessment

Ann Occup Hyg. 2003 Jan;47(1):71-87. doi: 10.1093/annhyg/meg012.


This paper describes a new method (DREAM) for structured, semi-quantitative dermal exposure assessment for chemical or biological agents that can be used in occupational hygiene or epidemiology. It is anticipated that DREAM could serve as an initial assessment of dermal exposure, amongst others, resulting in a ranking of tasks and subsequently jobs. DREAM consists of an inventory and evaluation part. Two examples of dermal exposure of workers of a car-construction company show that DREAM characterizes tasks and gives insight into exposure mechanisms, forming a basis for systematic exposure reduction. DREAM supplies estimates for exposure levels on the outside clothing layer as well as on skin, and provides insight into the distribution of dermal exposure over the body. Together with the ranking of tasks and people, this provides information for measurement strategies and helps to determine who, where and what to measure. In addition to dermal exposure assessment, the systematic description of dermal exposure pathways helps to prioritize and determine most adequate measurement strategies and methods. DREAM could be a promising approach for structured, semi-quantitative, dermal exposure assessment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Hazardous Substances / analysis*
  • Hazardous Substances / pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Protective Clothing
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Skin Absorption*


  • Hazardous Substances