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Risk Assessment

Sociodemographic Data Used for Identifying Potentially Highly Exposed Populations

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Due to unique social and demographic characteristics, various segments of the population may experience exposures different from those of the general population, which, in many cases, may be greater. When risk assessments do not characterize subsets of the general population, the populations that may experience the greatest risk remain unidentified. When such populations are not identified, the social and demographic data relevant to these populations is not considered when preparing exposure estimates, which can underestimate exposure and risk estimates for at-risk populations. Thus, it is necessary for risk or exposure assessors characterizing a diverse population, to first identify and then enumerate certain groups within the general population who are at risk for greater contaminant exposures. The document entitled Sociodemographic Data Used for Identifying Potentially Highly Exposed Populations (also referred to as the Highly Exposed Populations document), assists assessors in identifying and enumerating potentially highly exposed populations. This document presents data relating to factors which potentially impact an individual or group's exposure to environmental contaminants based on activity patterns (how time is spent), microenvironments (locations where time is spent), and other socio-demographic data such as age, gender, race and economic status. Populations potentially more exposed to various chemicals of concern, relative to the general population, is also addressed.

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Amina C. Wilkins
  • by phone at:   703-347-8525
  • by email at:  wilkins.amina@epa.gov

Citation

U.S. EPA. Sociodemographic Data Used for Identifying Potentially Highly Exposed Populations. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-99/060, 1999.

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