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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(7), 670;

Approaches to Children’s Exposure Assessment: Case Study with Diethylhexylphthalate (DEHP)

Partnership in Pediatric and Environment Health, Granby, CT 06026, USA
United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Children’s Health Protection, Washington, DC 20460, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Helena Solo-Gabriele and Alesia Ferguson
Received: 21 April 2016 / Revised: 13 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 1 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children’s Exposure to Environmental Contaminants)
Full-Text   |   PDF [691 KB, uploaded 1 July 2016]   |  


Children’s exposure assessment is a key input into epidemiology studies, risk assessment and source apportionment. The goals of this article are to describe a methodology for children’s exposure assessment that can be used for these purposes and to apply the methodology to source apportionment for the case study chemical, diethylhexylphthalate (DEHP). A key feature is the comparison of total (aggregate) exposure calculated via a pathways approach to that derived from a biomonitoring approach. The 4-step methodology and its results for DEHP are: (1) Prioritization of life stages and exposure pathways, with pregnancy, breast-fed infants, and toddlers the focus of the case study and pathways selected that are relevant to these groups; (2) Estimation of pathway-specific exposures by life stage wherein diet was found to be the largest contributor for pregnant women, breast milk and mouthing behavior for the nursing infant and diet, house dust, and mouthing for toddlers; (3) Comparison of aggregate exposure by pathways vs biomonitoring-based approaches wherein good concordance was found for toddlers and pregnant women providing confidence in the exposure assessment; (4) Source apportionment in which DEHP presence in foods, children’s products, consumer products and the built environment are discussed with respect to early life mouthing, house dust and dietary exposure. A potential fifth step of the method involves the calculation of exposure doses for risk assessment which is described but outside the scope for the current case study. In summary, the methodology has been used to synthesize the available information to identify key sources of early life exposure to DEHP. View Full-Text
Keywords: children; pregnancy; breast milk; house dust; contaminants; exposure assessment; plasticizer; phthalate; DEHP children; pregnancy; breast milk; house dust; contaminants; exposure assessment; plasticizer; phthalate; DEHP

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Ginsberg, G.; Ginsberg, J.; Foos, B. Approaches to Children’s Exposure Assessment: Case Study with Diethylhexylphthalate (DEHP). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 670.

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