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Environmental Assessment

Metabolically-Derived Human Ventilation Rates: A Revised Approach Based Upon Oxygen Consumption Rates (External Review Draft)

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Report Information

EPA has released a draft report entitled, Metabolically-Derived Human Ventilation Rates: A Revised Approach Based Upon Oxygen Consumption Rates, for independent external peer review and public comment. NCEA published the Exposure Factors Handbook in 1997. This comprehensive document provides summaries of available statistical data on various factors that can impact an individual’s exposure to environmental contaminants. NCEA maintains the Exposure Factors Handbook and periodically updates the document using current literature and other reliable data made available through research. Many program offices within EPA rely on the data from this handbook to conduct their exposure and risk assessments.

One important determinant of a person’s exposure to contaminants in air is the ventilation rate, or the volume of air that is inhaled by an individual in a specified time period. Ventilation rates, also known as breathing or inhalation rates, are given in Chapter 5 of the Exposure Factors Handbook. Calculations of the currently recommended ventilation rates were limited by their dependence on a ventilatory equivalent which relied on a person’s fitness level. This draft report, Metabolically-Derived Human Ventilation Rates: A Revised Approach Based Upon Oxygen Consumption Rates presents a revised approach which calculates ventilation rates directly from an individual’s oxygen consumption rate, and applies this method to data provided from more recent sources as the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and EPA’s Consolidated Human Activity Database (CHAD). In the next edition of the Exposure Factors Handbook, NCEA would like to update the metabolically-derived ventilation rate values using this revised approach and the more recently released data.

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Laurie C. Schuda
  • by phone at:   703-347-8548
  • by email at:  schuda.laurie@epa.gov

Background

The purpose of this report is to provide a revised approach for calculating an individual’s ventilation rate directly from their oxygen consumption rate. This revised approach will be used to update the ventilation rate information in the Exposure Factors Handbook and the Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook, which serve as resources for exposure assessors for calculating inhalation and other exposures.

Calculations of the currently recommended ventilation rates in the Exposure Factors Handbook are limited by their dependence on a ventilatory equivalent which rely on a person’s fitness level. This draft report presents a revised approach which calculates ventilation rates directly from an individual’s oxygen consumption rate.

History/Chronology

Jan 2007EPA releases the External Review Draft for public comment.
Apr 2007EPA hosts the External Peer Review meeting to discuss the draft report and comments.
Jun 2009EPA releases the Final Report.

Next Steps

EPA plans to have an External Peer Review meeing in the Spring 2007 to review and comment on this draft document. Following this, EPA will post the final report in Fall 2007. Eventually part of the report may be incorporated into the inhalation chapter of the updated Exposure Factors Handbook.

Additional Information

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD 2006-0868 by one of the following methods:
  • www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: ORD.Docket@epa.gov
  • Fax: 202-566-1753
  • Mail: Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket (Mail Code: 2822T), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20460. The phone number is 202-566-1752.
  • Hand Delivery: The OEI Docket is located in the EPA Headquarters Docket Center, EPA West Building, 1301 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, DC. The EPA Docket Center Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is 202-566-1744. Such deliveries are only accepted during the docket’s normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

Citation

U.S. EPA. Metabolically-Derived Human Ventilation Rates: A Revised Approach Based Upon Oxygen Consumption Rates (External Review Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-06/129A.

Downloads

This download(s) is distributed solely for the purpose of pre-dissemination peer review under applicable information quality guidelines. It has not been formally disseminated by EPA. It does not represent and should not be construed to represent any Agency determination or policy.

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