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Site-Specific Exposure Information
The types of information needed to estimate an exposure dose are referred to as exposure factors. That information is based on site-specific conditions.
Following are explanations of several types of information used in estimating exposure doses.
Exposure point level refers to the level of a chemical that is present at the point when an individual comes in contact with it.
The intake rate is the amount of a chemical taken into a person's body during time of contact with the chemical. Intake rates are calculated separately for each way that a chemical enters a person's body.
Exposure frequency refers to how often a person comes in contact with a chemical.
Exposure duration refers to how long a person has been contacting the chemical.
Population characteristics are the demographic and social characteristics of people in the community.
What information does an assessor use when estimating exposure doses?
A health assessor must use all information about a site and the characteristics
of the population when estimating exposure doses. For example, a health
assessor evaluating health conditions in a community near rivers where
fish had been found to contain harmful levels of chemicals would estimate
exposure doses for people in the community depending on the amount of
fish in their diets.
ATSDR's Public Health Assessment Guidance Manual
ATSDR's Public Health Assessment Guidance Manual provides health assessors
with guidelines for conducting public health assessment activities.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Exposure Factors Handbook
EPA's Exposure Factors Handbook summarizes the available statistical data on various types of information used in estimating human exposure doses. The exposure factors provided in the handbook should only be used if no site-specific information is available.
The Exposure Factors Handbook and updates to the handbook are available
February 20, 2008
EPH Training Coordinator