• Article

Population-based exposure measurements in EPA region 5: a phase I field study in support of the National Human Exposure Assessment Survey

The National Human Exposure Assessment Survey (NHEXAS) Phase I study is designed to be part of the total NHEXAS framework developed from a series of scientific discussions and workshops conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during 1992 and 1993. NHEXAS examines total human exposure and is structured to include: Phase I, scoping studies; Phase II, a full national exposure survey; and Phase III, a series of highly focused characterization modules. Our research program examines the scientific issues important to Phase II, including statistical sampling, methods evaluation, media concentration measurements, formulating quality assurance goals, and identification of important pathways leading to exposure. To determine the feasibility of NHEXAS in characterizing human exposure for a representative population, a hypothesis-driven design is used to answer important questions about human exposure to specific environmental contaminants. This paper describes: (1) hypotheses to be tested; (2) contaminants selected for study; (3) strategies for measuring exposure; (4) study area and population; (5) population sampling design; (6) media sampling and analysis procedures; and (7) data analysis. The contaminants of concern in this Phase I study include selected metals and volatile organic compounds. From these classes the first-tier contaminants to be measured are lead, arsenic, benzene, chloroform, perchloroethylene, and trichloroethylene. Contaminants selected for examination may potentially be found in many media (personal-nonoccupational, personal-occupational, indoor, and outdoor residential air; dust; potable water; food/beverages; soil; blood; hair; and urine) and exposures may occur by multiple routes (inhalation, ingestion, dermal). The central hypothesis of our field study is to discover whether individual and population exposures determined by modeled or extant data are/are not significantly different from those determined directly from multipathway and multimedia measurements. In addition, there are a series of subhypotheses ranging from pollutant-specific exposure measurement and body burden hypotheses to the optimization of exposure models. In keeping with the NHEXAS framework, a probability-based population sample for total exposure and the field study will be conducted in counties located throughout EPA Region 5 (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan). Sampling units will be households and an individual residing within each household. Environmental, exposure, and biological media sample collection will be performed by this consortium. Analyses of the external media and biological media samples will be completed by this consortium or Federal laboratories of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or EPA. The protocols and analytical techniques selected for use represent the best available for total exposure assessment at this time


Pellizzari, E., Lioy, P., Quackenboss, J., Whitmore, R., Clayton, A., Freeman, N., ... Wilcosky, T. (1995). Population-based exposure measurements in EPA region 5: a phase I field study in support of the National Human Exposure Assessment Survey. Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology, 5(3), 327-358.