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Daily Soil Ingestion Estimates for Children at a Superfund Site

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Ingestion of contaminated soil by children may result in significant exposure to toxic substances at contaminated sites. Estimates of such exposure are based on extrapolation of short-term-exposure estimates to longer time periods. This article provides daily estimates of soil ingestion on 64 children between the ages of 1 and 4 residing at a Superfund site; these values are employed to estimate the distribution of 7-day average soil ingestion exposures (mean, 31 mg/day; median, 17 mg/day) at a contaminated site over different time periods. Best linear unbiased predictors of the 95th-percentile of soil ingestion over 7 days, 30 days, 90 days, and 365 days are 133 mg/day, 112 mg/day, 108 mg/day and 106 mg/day, respectively. Variance components estimates (excluding titanium and outliers, based on Tukey's far-out criteria) are given for soil ingestion between subjects (59 mg/day)2, between days on a subject (95 mg/day)2, and for uncertainty on a subject-day (132 mg/day)2. These results expand knowledge of potential exposure to contaminants among young children from soil ingestion at contaminated sites. They also provide basic distributions that serve as a starting point for use in Monte Carlo risk assessments.

Keywords: Monte Carlo risk assessment; Soil ingestion; Superfund site; children; exposure assessment

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.

Publication date: October 1, 2000

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