A transient model is developed to predict dermal absorption of gas-phase chemicals via direct air-to-skin-to-blood transport under non-steady-state conditions. It differs from published models in that it considers convective mass-transfer resistance in the boundary layer of air adjacent to the skin. Results calculated with this transient model are in good agreement with the limited experimental results that are available for comparison. The sensitivity of the modeled estimates to key parameters is examined. The model is then used to estimate air-to-skin-to-blood absorption of six phthalate esters for scenarios in which (A) a previously unexposed occupant encounters gas-phase phthalates in three different environments over a single 24-h period; (B) the same as 'A', but the pattern is repeated for seven consecutive days. In the 24-h scenario, the transient model predicts more phthalate absorbed into skin and less absorbed into blood than would a steady-state model. In the 7-day scenario, results calculated by the transient and steady-state models converge over a time period that varies between 3 and 4days for all but the largest phthalate (DEHP). Dermal intake is comparable to or larger than inhalation intake for DEP, DiBP, DnBP, and BBzP in Scenario 'A' and for all six phthalates in Scenario 'B'.