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

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Ingestion exposure can be estimated by first defining the exposure scenario of interest. Exposure scenarios typically include information on the sources and pathways of exposure, contaminants of concern, and receptor populations. They might also describe a receptor population’s activities that may affect exposure and the timeframe over which exposure occurs. Ingestion exposure could occur from the dietary intake of contaminated food or water or from the non-dietary ingestion of soil, dust, or chemical residues on surfaces or objects that are contacted via hand-to-mouth or object-to-mouth activity.

The table below provides some examples of ingestion scenarios. The list of examples is not meant to be exhaustive; there are numerous other ingestion scenarios that may be constructed based on the specific needs of the assessment. There are also numerous variations of the examples provided in the table.

Examples of Ingestion Exposure Scenarios and Related
Exposure Factor Handbook: 2011 Edition Tables
Medium Receptor Population Activity/Timeframe Intake Rate Exposure Period
Tap water General population; adults Drinking water at home and away from home over lifetime Daily total tapwater intake
[Table 3-1]
Tap water; localized School children Drinking water during time at school; elementary school years
[Table 16-17]
Portion of daily community tapwater ingestion rate
[Table 3-1]
Swimming pool water Recreating adults and children Swimming over the short-term
[Table 16-1]
Ingestion rate while swimming
[Table 3-5]
Soil from contaminated site Occupational; adults Site-specific construction occupational tenure
[Table 16-8]
Soil intake rate
[Table 5-1]
House dust Young children Routine intake during time spent indoors; less than lifetime
[Table 16-1]
Dust intake rate
[Table 5-1]
Residues on indoor surfaces Residential children Mouthing during time spent indoors; less than lifetime
[Table 16-1]
Short-term, hand-to-mouth activity
[Table 4-1]
Contaminated meat products General population, per capita adults Ingestion of meat; long-term Total meat intake rate
[Table 11-1]
Homegrown vegetables Home gardeners Ingestion of home-produced vegetables; long-term Intake of home-produced vegetables
[Table 13-1]
Fish and shellfish General population children Ingestion of fish and shellfish Intake of fish and shellfish
[Table 10-1]
Marine fish Sport fishers Ingestion of marine fish Intake of marine fish
[Table 10-3]
Contaminated grain products General population, consumers only Ingestion of grain Intake of total grains
[Table 12-1]
Human milk Infants Nursing during birth to 12 months Intake of human milk
[Table 15-1]

Several resources are available that illustrate ingestion exposure scenarios.

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