Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook (2008, Final Report)


In October 2009, EPA announced the release of a companion report, Highlights of the Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook to the technical report released in 2008. This highlights document provides introductory information about the handbook and presents a summary of the recommendations presented in the Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook (CSEFH).


The National Center for Environmental Assessment Staff (NCEA) have prepared this handbook to provide information on various physiological and behavioral factors commonly used in assessing children’s exposure to environmental chemicals. Children have different exposure circumstances than do adults. Understanding these differences is key for evaluating potential for environmental hazards from pollutants. They consume more of certain foods and water and have higher inhalation rates per unit of body weight than adults. Young children play close to the ground and come into contact with contaminated soil outdoors and with contaminated dust on surfaces and carpets indoors. Ingestion of human milk may be another potential pathway of exposure for infants and young children.

In 1997, NCEA published the first Exposure Factors Handbook (EPA/600/P-95/002Fa-c), which includes exposure factors and related data on both adults and children. The goal of the Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook is to consolidate all child exposure data into one single document. This document would provide a summary of the available and up-to-date statistical data on various factors assessing child exposures. These factors include drinking water consumption, soil ingestion and non-dietary factors, inhalation rates, dermal factors including skin area and soil adherence factors, consumption of fruits and vegetables, fish, meats, dairy products, homegrown foods, human milk, activity patterns, body weight, and consumer products.

This report is an update of the 2002 interim final version of this handbook. The 2008 version provides analysis of exposure factors data using EPA's recommended age groups for assessing childhood exposures.


The Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook provides a summary of statistical data on various exposure factors used in assessing children exposures. These factors include: drinking water consumption; soil ingestion and mouthing behavior; inhalation rates; dermal factors including skin surface area and soil adherence factors; consumption of retail and home-grown foods; breast milk intake; body weight; and activity pattern data.


U.S. EPA. Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook (2008, Final Report). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-06/096F, 2008.


Date Description
01-1997EPA releases the Exposure Factors Handbook (EPA/600/P-95/002Fa-c).
02-Sep 2002EPA posts the Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook (Interim Report) 2002.
03-Oct 2006EPA released an external review draft of the Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook for public review and comment. EPA extended the comment period in response to requests from the public.
04-Sep 2007EPA hosted an external peer-review workshop for the draft report.
05-Sep 2008EPA released the final report, Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook (CSEFH).
06-Oct 2008EPA announces release of the final report in an October 30, 2008 Federal Register Notice.

Additional Information

In an effort to keep the handbook up-to-date, NCEA will incorporate new data as they become available in the published literature. Please submit comments, recommendations, suggested revisions, and corrections to Jacqueline Moya.

This document has been reviewed in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency policy and approved for publication. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.