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Open AccessArticle

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