Usage pattern of personal care products in California households

Xiangmei May Wu, Deborah H Bennett, Beate Ritz, Diana L Cassady, Kiyoung Lee, Irva Hertz-Picciotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Given the concern over the potential for health risks associated with certain ingredients (e.g., phthalates) in personal care products, usage patterns of ∼30 types of personal care products (e.g., shampoo, sunscreen, fragrance, etc.) were collected in 604 California households through a telephone interview. Preferences in selecting products, e.g., scented or unscented, aerosol, and brand loyalty, were also investigated. Participants were recruited in three age groups, children (mostly preschoolers), their parents, and adults age 55 or older. Use frequencies of various product types varied by sex, age group, race, education, and climatic region. Product use by parent and child from the same household were correlated. Use frequencies of products in the same class (e.g., skincare) were moderately correlated, which may impact aggregate exposures. Use frequencies observed in this study were generally in the same range as those reported in the EPA Exposure Factor Handbook, but we found differences for some individual products. Our study provides additional data on population-based usage patterns of a large collection of commonly used personal care products pertaining to several age groups and socio-demographic strata. This information will be valuable for exposure and risk assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3109-3119
Number of pages11
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Children
  • Consumer product
  • Exposure
  • Personal care products
  • Risk assessment
  • Use frequency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Toxicology


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