In vitro skin permeation and decontamination of the organophosphorus pesticide paraoxon under various physical conditions--evidence for a wash-in effect

Toxicol Mech Methods. 2012 Sep;22(7):520-5. doi: 10.3109/15376516.2012.686535. Epub 2012 May 23.


Misuse of various chemicals, such as chemical warfare agents, industrial chemicals or pesticides during warfare or terrorists attacks requires adequate protection. Thus, development and evaluation of novel decontamination dispositives and techniques are needed. In this study, in vitro permeation and decontamination of a potentially hazardous compound paraoxon, an active metabolite of organophosphorus pesticide parathion, was investigated. Skin permeation and decontamination experiments were carried out in modified Franz diffusion cells. Pig skin was used as a human skin model. Commercially produced detergent-based washing solutions FloraFree(™) and ArgosTM were used as decontamination means. The experiments were done under "warm", "cold", "dry" and "wet" skin conditions in order to determine an effect of various physical conditions on skin permeation of paraoxon and on a subsequent decontamination process. There was no significant difference in skin permeation of paraoxon under warm, cold and dry conditions, whereas wet conditions provided significantly higher permeation rates. In the selected conditions, decontamination treatments performed 1 h after a skin exposure did not decrease the agent volume that permeated through the skin. An exception were wet skin conditions with non-significant decontamination efficacy 18 and 28% for the FloraFree(™) and Argos(™) treatment, respectively. In contrast, the skin permeation of paraoxon under warm, cold and dry conditions increased up to 60-290% following decontamination compared to non-decontaminated controls. This has previously been described as a skin wash-in effect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Decontamination* / methods
  • Detergents / pharmacology
  • Diffusion Chambers, Culture
  • Female
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Paraoxon / chemistry
  • Paraoxon / pharmacokinetics*
  • Permeability / drug effects
  • Pesticides / chemistry
  • Pesticides / pharmacokinetics*
  • Skin / chemistry
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Skin Absorption / drug effects*
  • Skin Absorption / physiology
  • Sus scrofa
  • Time Factors


  • Detergents
  • Pesticides
  • Paraoxon