Report on the Peer Review Workshop on Revisions to the Exposure Factors Handbook

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This report highlights issues and conclusions from a workshop convened to gather information from expert reviewers on EPA's Exposure Factors Handbook (the Handbook) (External Review Draft, EPA/600/P-95/002A) published in June 1995. This information will be used by EPA in further developing the Handbook. [Note: EPA completed the Exposure Factors Handbook in 1997.] The workshop was sponsored by the EPA's Risk Assessment Forum and the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA). The meeting was held in Washington, DC on July 25-26, 1995.

A balanced group of expert peer reviewers was selected from academia, industry, and government. Selected reviewers provided scientific and technical expertise in the following disciplines: water ingestion, food ingestion, inhalation rates, soil ingestion, fish consumption, dermal contact, human activity patterns, residence characteristics, and survey statistics.

Based on comments made during workshop discussions and on work group presentations, peer reviewers generally agreed on the following:

-- The revised Handbook will serve an important need.

-- The Handbook should provide some method of evaluating the quality of the studies included.

-- Although certain studies in the Handbook are "key" and "relevant," some studies are inappropriate or dated. Moreover, studies on specific populations should be eliminated or included with a strong caution about their use.

-- Presentation of data is important, but could be enhanced with a graphical format.

-- Available literature should be more thoroughly reviewed (studies seemed to have been selected without regard for their specific contribution to the exposure assessment field).