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EPA-Expo-Box (A Toolbox for Exposure Assessors)

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Soil and Dust

Concentrations

Characterizing contaminant concentrations for an exposure scenario is typically accomplished using some combination of the following approaches:

  • Sampling soil and dust and measuring contaminant concentrations
  • Modeling the concentrations based on source strength, media transport, and chemical transformation processes
  • Using existing, available measured concentration data collected for related analysis or compiled in databases
EPA-Expo-Box provides information on measuring or modeling soil/dust concentrations and on available monitoring data. Information on sampling techniques and analytical methods is available to support the measurement of contaminants in soil and dust. In the absence of monitoring data, a variety of models can be used to estimate contaminant concentrations in soil and dust. Resources that provide information on the bioavailability of contaminants in soil are also included below.

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Measuring Concentrations

A number of sampling techniques or protocols have been established for monitoring and characterizing soil and dust contamination. Analytical methods for measuring concentrations of contaminants in soil or dust may include methods required for specific chemicals or groups of chemicals that are regulated by EPA or methods for unregulated chemicals or groups of chemicals of interest.

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Modeling Concentrations

In the absence of monitoring data, models may be used to estimate the concentrations of contaminants in soil and dust, such as the following.

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Available Data

There are a number of information sources that provide monitoring data on contaminant concentrations in soil or dust, including the following.

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Bioavailability

Bioavailability is a measure of how much of a contaminant is absorbed when people are exposed to that contaminant through inhalation, skin contact or food intake. Resources are available that provide information related to the bioavailability of contaminants in soil.

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