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Pollutants in the Home Environment: A Brief History and Overview

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Abstract: The major portion of our exposure to environmental pollutants occurs within the home. Although various studies dating back as far back as the mid-1960s suggested this, it was not fully appreciated until the late 1980s or early 1990s. Many studies have assessed indoor-outdoor relationships of inorganic gases, volatile organic chemicals, pesticides, and other pollutants, with the major emphasis on air pollution. More recently, the focus has been on exposure to pollutants associated with house dust and contact with residues found on interior surfaces. Some of these studies have shown that nondietary and dermal contact exposures to dust and surface residues may contribute substantially to the aggregate exposures of small children in particular. Mycotoxins, molds on interior surfaces and insect and pet allergens in carpets and bedding have received the most recent attention. Such studies over the past two decades have resulted in many changes in building materials and furnishing, the designs of heating devices, and federal or state regulation of pesticides and other chemicals for residential use. They have also spawned the development of international standards for indoor air quality. This paper reviews the history of residential indoor environmental exposure assessment and its impact on our daily lives.

This is an abstract of a proposed presentation and does not necessarily reflect the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) policy. The actual presentation has not been peer reviewed by EPA. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.
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Citation:Lewis, R. G. Pollutants in the Home Environment: A Brief History and Overview. Presented at Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Austin, TX, November 9-13, 2003.
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Contact: Liz Hope - (919) 541-2785 or hope.elizabeth@epa.gov
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Division: Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Division
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Branch: Methods Development & Application Branch
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Product Type: Abstrct/Oral
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Presented: 11/10/2003
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Development and Application of Methods to Assess Human Exposure to Pesticides
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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