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Environnement, Risques & Santé

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Human exposure factors in France: Assessment of available data and prospects Volume 12, issue 1, Janvier-Février 2013

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InVS 12, rue du Val d’Osne 94415 Saint-Maurice cedex France, Université de Paris Sud Faculté de Pharmacie UMR 8079 Groupe Santé Publique-Environnement 5 rue J.B. Clément 92290 Chatenay-Malabry France
  • Key words: databases, exposure factors, risk assessment
  • DOI : 10.1684/ers.2013.0594
  • Page(s) : 54-67
  • Published in: 2013

Human exposure factors (HEF, or in French, VHE) are the variables and indicators used in quantitative health risk assessments to estimate exposure of given populations and to calculate levels of risk. In France, risk assessors must deal with a very heterogeneous set of available data, depending on the HEF considered: Several French datasets are available for body weight and food consumption, fewer for activity factors and residential characteristics, and none for skin surface, respiratory rate, or accidental soil or water intake. This volatility in available data can affect the results of the deterministic and probabilistic risk calculations. Population-relevant data should be used to avoid incorrect health impact conclusions and inappropriate public health decisions. This conclusion underlines the need both to produce HEF relevant to the French population and to make them available to French risk assessors.