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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(7), 2778-2798; doi:10.3390/ijerph10072778

Use Patterns of Leave-on Personal Care Products among Swiss-German Children, Adolescents, and Adults

1,* , 2
1 Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering, ETH Zürich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 10, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland 2 Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zürich, Universitätstrasse 16, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 May 2013 / Revised: 17 June 2013 / Accepted: 20 June 2013 / Published: 3 July 2013
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In order to model exposure to ingredients contained in personal care products (PCPs) and assess their potential risks to human health, access to reliable PCP use data, including co-use patterns, is essential. A postal questionnaire survey was conducted to determine the use patterns of eight leave-on PCP categories among the German-speaking population of Switzerland (N = 1,196; ages 0–97 years), providing for the first time in Europe PCP use data for children <12 years of age. The majority of respondents (99%) reported having used at least one of the investigated PCP categories in the past year. Co-use of two or more PCP categories at the same time was common and more complex amongst adults. Regular use of face cream and body lotion was very high in the youngest group of children aged 0–4 years (more than 79% respondents) who may be more vulnerable to certain adverse effects of some PCP ingredients. A comparison with previously collected information on PCP use patterns in Germany and the Netherlands indicates differences in PCP use patterns among European consumers and suggests that surrogate PCP use data from other countries must be used with caution. This work extends the existing knowledge of PCP use patterns and will be useful for new exposure assessments for ingredients contained in PCPs used by the young consumers.
Keywords: personal care products; use prevalence; use frequency; co-use; children personal care products; use prevalence; use frequency; co-use; children
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Manová, E.; von Goetz, N.; Keller, C.; Siegrist, M.; Hungerbühler, K. Use Patterns of Leave-on Personal Care Products among Swiss-German Children, Adolescents, and Adults. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 2778-2798.

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