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Summary Report of a Peer Involvement Workshop on the Development of An Exposure Factors Handbook for the Aging

Report Information

EPA has released the final workshop report, Summary Report of a Peer Involvement Workshop on the Development of an Exposure Factors Handbook for the Aging. This report provides an overview of a meeting held February 14-15, 2007 which was organized to discuss factors affecting exposures of older adults to environmental chemicals, as well as issues related to the development of an exposure factors handbook for the aging.

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Douglas Johns
  • by phone at:   919-541-5596
  • by email at:  johns.doug@epa.gov

Background

In 1989, the U.S. EPA published an Exposure Factors Handbook which contains a summary of the available statistical data on various factors used in assessing human exposure and health risk. Updated in 1997, this Handbook is addressed to exposure assessors, both inside and outside the EPA, who need to obtain data on standard factors used to calculate human exposure to toxic chemicals. These factors include:
  • drinking water consumption,
  • soil ingestion,
  • inhalation rates,
  • dermal factors including skin surface area and soil adherence factors,
  • consumption of fruits and vegetables, fish, meats, dairy products, homegrown foods,
  • human activity factors,
  • consumer product use, and
  • residential characteristics.
Although the handbook includes factors specific to all age groups, the EPA has identified the need for additional detail on exposure factors for potentially susceptible populations, including children and older adults. To this end, EPA developed a Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook in 2002 to focus on factors used in assessing exposure of children 0-21 years of age. Similarly, older adults may be more susceptible to the adverse effects of environmental contaminants due to differential exposures arising from physiological and behavioral changes with age, as well as the body’s decreased capacity to defend against toxic stressors. To address these issues and discuss practical considerations of the utility of an Exposure Factors Handbook for the Aging in conducting exposure assessments, a panel of experts in the fields of exposure assessment, risk assessment, physiology, and behavioral science were convened at a national workshop in February of 2007. This report summarizes the discussions held during the workshop, highlights several sources of existing data, and provides recommendations for additional research.

History/Chronology

Mar 2006EPA begins plans to organize a national workshop to discuss issues related to the development of an Exposure Factors Handbook for the Aging.
Feb 2007Workshop is held in Arlington, VA, February 14-15, 2007.
Jul 2007Final workshop report is released.

Next Steps

This is the final report. Portions of this report may be published in the peer-reviewed literature.

Additional Information

Contacts:

Douglas Johns
(919) 541-5596
johns.doug@epa.gov

Jacqueline Moya
(202) 564-3245
moya.jacqueline@epa.gov

Citation

U.S. EPA. Summary Report of a Peer Involvement Workshop on the Development of An Exposure Factors Handbook for the Aging. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-07/061, 2007.

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