ABOUT THE STUDY
This project focuses on collecting new data for soil/dust ingestion for children within their homes. In addition, the study will conduct modeling and meta-analysis for soil/dust ingestion data across various environments where children spend time. Children are exposed to soil and dust ingestion via primarily four mechanisms, where this study focuses on 1, 2, and 4:
1. Soil/dust found on objects/surfaces placed in the mouth
2. Soil/dust placed directly into the mouth
3. Soil/dust found on food placed in the mouth, and
4. Soil/dust found on hands (on other body) placed in the mouth from hand contact with soil/dust
The frequency and duration of these activities, efficiencies of removal (hand/surfaces), and contact surface area are key variables in the estimation of soil/dust ingestion. Based on the current limited data available, US EPA estimates in the Exposure Factors Handbook, that children ingest close to 80 mg/day of soil or dust though ingestion rates vary by children's activities, housing dynamics, dust loading rates and particular scenarios (e.g., outdoor settings). These estimates are considered to have high degree of uncertainty due to limitations in the current data and how the rates were estimated. Newer methodologies are needed to collect soil/ingestion rates and current data sets that enhance diverse geographic regions.