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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 563; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060563

Hand- and Object-Mouthing of Rural Bangladeshi Children 3–18 Months Old

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
2
Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
3
Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
4
International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Helena Solo-Gabriele and Alesia Ferguson
Received: 1 February 2016 / Revised: 12 May 2016 / Accepted: 26 May 2016 / Published: 4 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children’s Exposure to Environmental Contaminants)
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Abstract

Children are exposed to environmental contaminants by placing contaminated hands or objects in their mouths. We quantified hand- and object-mouthing frequencies of Bangladeshi children and determined if they differ from those of U.S. children to evaluate the appropriateness of applying U.S. exposure models in other socio-cultural contexts. We conducted a five-hour structured observation of the mouthing behaviors of 148 rural Bangladeshi children aged 3–18 months. We modeled mouthing frequencies using 2-parameter Weibull distributions to compare the modeled medians with those of U.S. children. In Bangladesh the median frequency of hand-mouthing was 37.3 contacts/h for children 3–6 months old, 34.4 contacts/h for children 6–12 months old, and 29.7 contacts/h for children 12–18 months old. The median frequency of object-mouthing was 23.1 contacts/h for children 3–6 months old, 29.6 contacts/h for children 6–12 months old, and 15.2 contacts/h for children 12–18 months old. At all ages both hand- and object-mouthing frequencies were higher than those of U.S. children. Mouthing frequencies were not associated with child location (indoor/outdoor). Using hand- and object-mouthing exposure models from U.S. and other high-income countries might not accurately estimate children’s exposure to environmental contaminants via mouthing in low- and middle-income countries. View Full-Text
Keywords: non-dietary ingestion; child behavior; mouthing; exposure factors; rural; Bangladesh non-dietary ingestion; child behavior; mouthing; exposure factors; rural; Bangladesh
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kwong, L.H.; Ercumen, A.; Pickering, A.J.; Unicomb, L.; Davis, J.; Luby, S.P. Hand- and Object-Mouthing of Rural Bangladeshi Children 3–18 Months Old. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 563.

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