Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook (2006, External Review Draft)

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Children are often more heavily exposed to environmental toxicants than adults. They consume more food and water and have higher inhalation rates per pound 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. As another example, exposure to chemicals in breast milk affects infants and young children.

Although NCEA has published the Exposure Factors Handbook in 1997 (EPA/600/P-95/002Fa-c), which includes exposure factors and related data on both adults and children, the EPA Program Offices identified the need to consolidate all child exposure data into one document. The goal of the Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook is to fulfill this need. The document provides 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, inhalation rates, dermal factors including skin area and soil adherence factors, consumption of fruits and vegetables, fish, meats, dairy products, homegrown foods, breast milk, activity patterns, body weight, consumer products and life expectancy.


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.


Concluding the external peer review workshop, the final version will be updated and finally published on the NCEA Website in summer 2008.


U.S. EPA. Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook (2006, External Review Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-06/096A.


Date Description
01-Jun 2000EPA posts the Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook (External Review Draft).
02-Sep 2002EPA posts the Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook (Interim Report) 2002.
03-Aug 2006In August 2006, the handbook was revised and updated and an internal review draft report was produced.
04-Oct 2006EPA announced a 60-day public comment period when the external review draft document was posted.
05-Jan 2007EPA re-openned the public comment period for an additional 30 days in response to requests to extend the comment period.
06-Sep 2007EPA hosted a peer-review workshop for the external review draft of the Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook on Sept 19-20, 2007.
07-Sep 2012EPA released the response to comments from the external peer review workshop.

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.