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Exposure Assessment. Thanks to Marc Rigas, PhD for an earlier version of this lecture Much of the materials is drawn from Paustenbach, DJ. (2000) The practice of exposure assessment: a state-of-the-art review. J Toxicol Env Health , 3:179-291. Goals of this lecture. Outstanding issues?

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exposure assessment

Exposure Assessment

Thanks to Marc Rigas, PhD for an earlier version of this lecture

Much of the materials is drawn from

Paustenbach, DJ. (2000) The practice of exposure assessment: a state-of-the-art review. J Toxicol Env Health, 3:179-291

goals of this lecture
Goals of this lecture
  • Outstanding issues?
  • Explore issues and methods in exposure assessment
    • Pathways of exposure
    • Pathways following exposure
  • Explore some data sets!
exposure and dose response
Exposure and Dose-Response
  • If Risk = Exposure × Potency
  • Epidemiology and Toxicology provide potency data
  • Exposure assessment explores exposure!
  • In reverse, dose reconstruction is essential to good epidemiology
  • Exposure
    • The contact with a chemical, biological, or physical agent at the boundary of the body over a specified time.
  • Exposure Route
    • How a substance contacts the body and results in an internal dose (inhalation, ingestion, dermal penetration).
  • Boundaries of the body
    • By Exposure Route: For inhalation, could be the tissue in the lung separating air from blood. For ingestion, the layer of cells, lining the gastrointestinal tract.
definitions ii
Definitions II
  • Exposure Pathway
    • How a substance moves from the source to the receptor (in this case, people).
  • Intake
    • Amount of substance that is inhaled or consumed
  • Uptake
    • Amount or fraction of intake that passes through a boundary of the body
definitions iii
Definitions III
  • Dose
    • Applied Dose: amount available at a boundary
    • Potential Dose: amount ingested or inhaled
    • Internal Dose: the amount of a substance crossing one of the route barriers into the body
    • Biologically-effective dose: the amount of a substance reaching a target organ.
definitions iv
Definitions IV
  • Bioavailability
    • Most research is on ORAL, but also some on dermal and inhalation
    • Fraction of the administered dose that reaches the central (blood) compartment
    • Relative bioavailability compares different FORMS or MEDIA
why assess exposure isn t it easy
Why assess exposure?(Isn’t it EASY?!)
  • Determine factors that put segments of the population at higher risk to chemical toxicity
  • Help establish dose-response relationships in the “real world”
  • Hazard = Toxicity x Exposure
three elements of exposure assessment
Three elements of exposure assessment
  • Transportation, transformation and fate processes
    • Before it meets up with people
  • Exposures
    • As it meets up with people
  • Physiologically based pharmacokinetics (PBPK)
    • What goes on IN people
uses of exposure assessment in risk assessment
Uses of Exposure Assessment in Risk Assessment
  • Used to estimate internal dose which, with dose response data (usually in animals), is used to estimate risk.
  • For risk-based regulations, provides the link to emissions (point source, consumer products, area sources).
  • Evaluation of efficacy of cleanup (risk to most exposed subgroup).

Hazard Identification

Dose-response assessment

Exposure Assessment

Risk Characterization

Risk Communication

exposure pathways
Exposure Pathways


Paustenbach, DJ. (2000) The practice of exposure assessment: a state-of-the-art review. J Toxicol Env Health, 3:179-291

use exposure assessment for status and trends
Use Exposure Assessment for Status and Trends
  • Determine exposure at a particular place and time as well as trends over time.
  • Provide a profile of a population or a population segment.
  • Establish effectiveness of risk mitigation strategy (regulations).
exposure assessment in epidemiology
Exposure Assessment in Epidemiology
  • A goal of epidemiology is to establish a dose-response relationship to a contaminant and to identify an exposed population.
  • Improve the chances of identifying a valid dose-response relationship.
  • Reduces misclassification in epidemiological studies.
use of exposure assessment in epidemiology
Use of Exposure Assessment in Epidemiology
  • Case-Control studies: relates disease incidence to exposure by comparing health outcomes in a group that has exposure and one that doesn’t
  • Reconstruction based on questionnaire
    • Questions asked concerning activities or locations that may result in exposure
population based studies
Population based studies
  • Exposure reconstruction or assignment of exposure classification (i.e., high, medium, low)
  • Personal monitoring
    • I.e. collect water at home along with water use information
    • Time period? Latency?
  • Exposure modeling
    • Assess individual exposure OR generate a population base distribution for boundaries on risk assessment.
aggregate exposure
Aggregate Exposure
  • Sum total of exposure to a chemical via ALL routes of exposure and in all media
  • Concentration times duration
  • DDT:
    • 6 to 10 sources (fruits and veggies)
    • Three routes (air, food, water)
integrated exposure
Integrated Exposure
  • “Area under the curve” or AUC
  • Exposure profile
issues in dose and response
Issues in Dose and Response

Blood lead levels

Time (Days)

time weighted average
Time-Weighted Average
  • TWA
  • Total dose divided by time period of dosing
  • This is what we used for toxicology assumption
lifetime average daily dose
72 year old person

Has eaten lettuce since age 4 (14,000 kg)


4 mg Aldrin per kg lettuce

Lifetime Average Daily Dose
empirical data
Empirical Data
  • Direct measurement
  • Usually measures applied dose
  • A variety of methods and equipment have been developed
biological monitoring
Biological Monitoring
  • Body burden levels or biomarkers
  • Concentration of chemical in tissues or sera
    • Usually not the tissue of concern
    • Need to understand internal dose relationship
  • Concentration of the chemical’s metabolites
  • Biological response chemicals
  • Chemical or metabolites bound to target molecules
modeling exposure
Modeling Exposure
  • “Exposure Scenarios”
  • Recreating past doses
  • Predicting future doses
  • Two major components
    • Chemical concentrations (including time trends)
    • Population characterizations
exposure factors handbook
Drinking water consumption rates

Breast milk consumption rates

Consumption rates of foods

Soil ingestion rates

Breathing rates

Body surface areas

Body weights

Shower times, intensities, temperatures

Animal exposures



Exposure Factors Handbook
standard regulatory defaults
Standard Regulatory Defaults
  • Point estimates
    • 2 L water / day, RME adult
    • 1.4 L water / day, Avg. adult
    • 1.0 L water / day, avg child
  • Variability?
    • Geographic
    • Cultural
  • Variability versus central tendencies
dermal exposure
Dermal exposure
  • Cutaneous permeability
  • Dermal bioavailability
  • Skin surface area
  • Soil loading on the skin
skin uptake of a chemical in soil
Skin uptake of a chemical in soil
  • Uptake = C × A × r × B
  • C in mg material per kg soil
  • A in cm2
  • r in mg / cm2
  • B is unitless (bioavailability)
monte carlo analysis
Monte Carlo Analysis
  • Uptake = C × A × r × B
  • What if we know distributions of C, A, and r, and uncertainty surrounding B!
  • MEI (maximally exposed individual)
  • 95% worst case for each?
  • 1 - (1-0.95)4 = 99.9994 case?
monte carlo analysis30
Monte Carlo Analysis
  • A taste:
  • C = lognormal (12 mg / kg, 3 mg / kg)
  • A = 500 cm2
  • r = uniform (0.015 kg / cm2,0.025 kg / cm2)
  • B = lognormal (0.75, 0.02)
  • Mean Uptake = 70 mg
  • Upper 95%? = 180 mg / kg
monte carlo analysis31
Monte Carlo Analysis
  • 95% upper CI?
  • C = lognormal (12 mg / kg, 3)
  • A = 500 cm2
  • r = uniform (0.015 kg / cm2,0.025 kg / cm2)
  • B = lognormal (0.75, 0.02)
  • Uptake = 70 mg
it s all about the algebra
It’s all about the algebra
  • http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/combust/tech/risk/apx_c-e.pdf