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CHILDREN'S TOTAL EXPOSURE TO PERSISTENT PESTICIDES AND OTHER PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTS (CTEPP)
The overall objectives of CTEPP were to measure the aggregate exposures of approximately 260 preschool children and their adult caregivers to low levels of a suite of pesticides and organic pollutants that the children may encounter in their everyday environments, and to apportion the routes of exposure and estimate the relative contributions of each route.
Young children, especially those of the preschool ages 1-5, are hypothesized to have greater exposures to chemicals in the environment than do older children or adults. These greater exposures may result from what children eat and drink, where they spend their time, and what they do there. The impact of the exposures may be greater on young children because of their smaller body masses, immature body systems, and rapid physical development. Very young children learn about their environment by exploring not only the appearance and texture of objects, but also their taste and smell. Thus, nondietary ingestion can play an important role in their exposures.
The "Children's Total Exposure to Persistent Pesticides and Other Persistent Organic Pollutants, (CTEPP)" is a research study involving about 260 preschool children in North Carolina and Ohio. It is the first large aggregate exposure study of young children. CTEPP was designed to investigate the exposures of young children to common contaminants in their everyday surroundings, to gain information on the various activities, environmental media, and pollutant characteristics that may influence children's exposures, and to generate potential questions and hypotheses for future research.
Children who stay at home with an adult caregiver and children who attend preschool or day care were included in the study. Emphasis was on children of ages two to five years. Exposures of the children and their primary adult caregivers living in the same household were estimated through the collection and analysis of samples of food, beverages, and drinking water; indoor and outdoor air; hand wipes; house dust, classroom dust, and play area soil; and smooth floor and food preparation surface wipes. Urine samples were also collected for analysis for biomarkers of exposure. Information about the children's activities during the sampling period was collected via activity diaries and food diaries. Approximately 10% of the children were videotaped at residences in Ohio for 2 hour periods during the sampling to supplement the activity diaries and observations.
Targeted organic chemical pollutants included polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; chlorinated, carbamate, triazine, pyrethroid, and organophosphate pesticides; phthalate esters; phenols; and polychlorinated biphenyls. These compounds are persistent in the indoor and sometimes the outdoor environments, so that very low levels may exist in the children's surrounding microenvironments and provide a source of chronic, non-acute exposure. Specific compounds were selected because they may be carcinogenic, mutagenic, acutely or chronically toxic, or possibly disruptive to the human endocrine system; and because they are widespread and often persistent in the indoor or outdoor environment.
The field data collection, chemical analyses, and initial data analyses for the study have been completed. A final report of the study results was completed in 2004 by Battelle and submitted to the EPA. The report describes the study methods, measurement results, and quality control results. Analyses were performed to evaluate the exposure pathways and various factors afftecting exposure. During 2005, additional, more comprehensive analyses of the data will be performed. Manuscripts will be prepared for submission to peer-reviewed journals. The results of the study will be disseminated to EPA Program Offices, researchers in the field of exposure assessment, industry, and other interested stakeholders.