EPA has released a user-friendly document to help risk assessors understand how children are exposed to pollution. The document, titled “Highlights of the Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook,” serves as a quick-reference guide to the more comprehensive “Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook,” published by EPA in 2008. It will serve as an additional resource for those who work on children’s health issues, which the agency has been highlighting during Children’s Health Month.

EPA developed the reference guide to provide important information necessary for answering questions about exposure through drinking water, breathing, and eating foods, such as:

  • How much exposure to environmental pollutants might children get if they live or play near contaminated sites?
  • How much dirt from a child’s hands might s/he inadvertently eat?
  • How much of a child’s exposure to various pollutants might come from skin contact?
  • Which age groups (childhood life stages) may inhale or ingest the most and thus may be at higher risks?