Sunday, July 20, 2014

ConsExpo: A Valuable Modeling Tool

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I am pretty high on IH MOD as a first-rate modeling tool for the estimation of inhalation exposure potential.   This week I want to talk about another important modeling tool:  ConsExpo which is short for Consumer Exposure modeling tool.   It has been developed for a number of years by the good folks at the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (its the initials from the Dutch name are RIVM).   According to the RIVM web site (

The software model ConsExpo is a set of coherent, general models that enables the estimation and assessment of exposure to substances from consumer products that are used indoor and their uptake by humans.

ConsExpo is a relatively “high level” model especially compared to IH MOD in that there is a considerable amount of information and structure related to consumer exposure is already built into it.  The advantage is that is that it is relatively easy to use and is specific to exposure from consumer products.   The disadvantage is that it may not be as flexible as IH MOD in addressing a wide variety of human exposure scenarios including those often presented in the work place.  

ConsExpo provides modeling estimates for various exposure routes (inhalation, dermal or oral route).   To an extent the software guides one to the most appropriate exposure scenario and uptake model is chosen for each route.   It differentiates between applied exposure or the amount available for update and the actual uptake of the chemical of interest.    You as the modeler are required to fill in the model input parameters.    Another excerpt from the RIVM web site is below:

To enhance transparency and standardization, for a number of product categories, default parameter values have been compiled in so-called fact sheets. The default-models and default-parameter values are available in the form of a database with the ConsExpo software. Currently, the most recent version is ConsExpo 4.1. A beta-version of ConsExpo 5.0 is available, in which the methods for probabilistic exposure evaluation have been improved.

The last sentence above highlights a feature of Consexpo that IH MOD does not have at present; namely, built-in probabilistic exposure evaluation in which you provide the input parameters as probability distribution functions (PDFs) rather than single deterministic values.   My friend and colleague, Tom Armstrong has studied and worked on the integration of IH MOD with various probabilistic tools for some years but to date the the capability of including PDFs have not be directly integrated into the tool.   Perhaps I (or you) can one day persuade Tom to write a guess blog here that would help us with this subject.

The fact is that ConsExpo is a valuable resource when estimating exposures to chemicals from the use of consumer products.   You can get the program at:

The above mentioned “fact sheets” from RIVM provide the modeler with general background information.   Indeed, they provide specific exposure parameters within the context of an exposure scenario.

The following fact sheets are available for download at

·         General fact sheet
·         Children's toys fact sheet
·         Cleaning products fact sheet
·         Cosmetics fact sheet
·         Desinfectant products fact sheet
·         Do-It-Yourself products fact sheet
·         Paint products fact sheet
·         Pest control products fact sheet 

Here is our LinkedIn Group discussion question for the week:

How might you see ConsExpo fitting in with your world?

Also, I would like to express my thanks to my friend and colleague Bert Hakkinen for suggesting ConsExpo as a blog topic.  If you have any topics you would like to see covered in line with this blog please drop me a note at   Some of the best blogs have come as a result of your suggestions.


  1. This is a good post. This post gives truly quality information. I’m definitely going to look into it. Really very useful tips are provided here. Thank you so much. Keep up the good works. Health

  2. i am for the first time here. I found this board and I in finding It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to present something back and help others such as you helped me. koktale