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Quantifying children's aggregate (dietary and residential) exposure and dose to permethrin: application and evaluation of EPA's probabilistic SHEDS-Multimedia model

Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology
Nature Publishing Group
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1038/jes.2012.12
  • Original Article
  • Chemistry


Reliable, evaluated human exposure and dose models are important for understanding the health risks from chemicals. A case study focusing on permethrin was conducted because of this insecticide's widespread use and potential health effects. SHEDS-Multimedia was applied to estimate US population permethrin exposures for 3- to 5-year-old children from residential, dietary, and combined exposure routes, using available dietary consumption data, food residue data, residential concentrations, and exposure factors. Sensitivity and uncertainty analyses were conducted to identify key factors, pathways, and research needs. Model evaluation was conducted using duplicate diet data and biomonitoring data from multiple field studies, and comparison to other models. Key exposure variables were consumption of spinach, lettuce, and cabbage; surface-to-skin transfer efficiency; hand mouthing frequency; fraction of hand mouthed; saliva removal efficiency; fraction of house treated; and usage frequency. For children in households using residential permethrin, the non-dietary exposure route was most important, and when all households were included, dietary exposure dominated. SHEDS-Multimedia model estimates compared well to real-world measurements data; this exposure assessment tool can enhance human health risk assessments and inform children's health research. The case study provides insights into children's aggregate exposures to permethrin and lays the foundation for a future cumulative pyrethroid pesticides risk assessment.

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