The kinetics of chloroform in the exhaled breath of human volunteers exposed skin-only via bath water (concentrations < 100 ppb) were analyzed using a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model. Significant increases in exhaled chloroform (and thus bioavailability) were observed as exposure temperatures were increased from 30 to 40 degrees C. The blood flows to the skin and effective skin permeability coefficients (Kp) were both varied to reflect the temperature-dependent changes in physiology and exhalation kinetics. At 40 degrees C, no differences were observed between males and females. Therefore, Kps were determined (approximately 0.06 cm/hr) at a skin blood flow rate of 18% of the cardiac output. At 30 and 35 degrees C, males exhaled more chloroform than females, resulting in lower effective Kps calculated for females. At these lower temperatures, the blood flow to the skin was also reduced. Total amounts of chloroform absorbed averaged 41.9 and 43.6 microg for males and 11.5 and 39.9 microg for females exposed at 35 and 40 degrees C, respectively. At 30 degrees C, only 2/5 males and 1/5 females had detectable concentrations of chloroform in their exhaled breath. For perspective, the total intake of chloroform would have ranged from 79-194 microg if the volunteers had consumed 2 liters of water orally at the concentrations used in this study. Thus, the relative contribution of dermal uptake of chloroform to the total body burdens associated with bathing for 30 min and drinking 2 liters of water (ignoring contributions from inhalation exposures) was predicted to range from 1 to 28%, depending on the temperature of the bath.