Is hand-to-mouth contact the main pathway of children’s soil and dust intake?

Abstract

Children (n = 240) between the ages of 2 and 17 years were randomly selected from three cities in China. The total amount of soil and dust (SD) on their hands was measured and ranged from 3.50–187.39 mg (median = 19.49 mg). We screened for seven elements (Ce, V, Y, Al, Ba, Sc, and Mn), and Ce levels were used to calculate hand SD by variability and soil elements. The main factors affecting SD amount were location and age group, as identified using a conditional inference tree. Hand SD and the hand SD intake rate were highest in Gansu Province, followed by Guangdong and Hubei provinces, respectively. Hand SD and the hand SD intake rate were highest among children in primary school, followed by kindergarten and secondary school, respectively. The hand SD intake rate of the three typical areas was 11.9 mg/d, which was about 26.6% of the children’s soil intake rate (44.8 mg/d), indicating that hand-to-mouth contact is not the main route for children’s soil intake in the three areas of China.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

References

  1. Agarwal, P., et al. (2010). Determination of hand and palm areas as a ratio of body surface area in Indian population. Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery, 43, 49–53.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Al-Rajhl, M. A., et al. (1996). Metal levels in indoor and outdoor dust in Rlyadh. Saudl Arabla. Environ. Int., 22(3), 315–324.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. AUEPA, 2010. Australian Exposure Factor Guidance. TR150509-Rd4. enHealth Council.

  4. Buchet, J. P., et al. (1980). Repeated surveillance of exposure to cadmium, manganese, and arsenic in school-age children living in rural, urban, and non-ferrous smelter areas in Belgium. Environmental Research, 22, 95–108.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Calabrese, E., et al. (1989). How much soil do young children ingest: an epidemiologic study. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 10(2), 123–137.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Calabrese, E., et al. (1997). Soil ingestion estimates for children residing on a superfund site. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 36(3), 258–268.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Chen, R., et al. (2014). China’s soil pollution: Farms on the frontline. Science, 344, 691.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Chen, Y., et al. (2015). Survey of the ralated factors of children soil/dust ingestion in Wuhan City and Wufeng County Yichang. Medicine and Society, 28, 71–73. ((in Chinese with English abstract)).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Cohen Hubal, E., et al. (2014). Identifying important life stages for monitoring and assessing risks from exposures to environmental contaminants: Results of a world health organization review. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 69(1), 113–124.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Davis, S., et al. (1990). Quantitative estimates of soil ingestion in normal children between the ages of 2 and 7 years: population-based estimates using aluminum, silicon, and titanium as soil tracer elements. Archives of Environmental Health, 45(2), 112–122.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Davis, S., & Mirick, D. (2006). Soil ingestion in children and adults in the same family. Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology, 16, 63–75.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Duggan, M. J., & Inskip, M. J. (1985). Childhood exposure to lead in surface dust and soil: A community health problem. Public Health Reviews, 13(1–2), 1–54.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. EC (European Commission), Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions—Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection, COM (2006), 231, 2006. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/soil/pdf/com_2006_0231_en.pdf.

  14. Freeman, N., & Jimenez, M. (2001). Quantitative analysis of children’s microactivity patterns: The Minnesota children’s pesticide exposure study. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, 11, 501–509.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Gordon, S. M., et al. (1999). Residential environmental measurements in the national human exposure assessment survey (NHEXAS) pilot study in Arizona: preliminary results for pesticides and VOCs. Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology, 9, 456–470.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. His, H. C., et al. (2018). Determination of hand soil loading, soil transfer, and particle size variations after hand-pressing and hand-mouthing activities. Science of the Total Environment, 627, 844–851.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Hu, Y. N., & Cheng, H. F. (2013). Application of stochastic models in identification and apportionment of heavy metal pollution sources in the surface soils of a large-scale region. Environmental Science and Technology, 47, 3752–3760.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. James, W., et al. (1974). House and hand dust as a potential source of childhood lead exposure. American Journal of Diseases of Children, 127, 167–170.

    Google Scholar 

  19. JPNEPA, 2007. Japanese Exposure Factors Handbook. AIST. http://unit.aist.go.jp/ riss/crm/exposure factors /english_summary.html.

  20. Kissel, J. C. (1998). Investigation of dermal contact with soil in controlled trials. Journal of Soil Contamination, 7, 737–752.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Lepow, M., et al. (1974). Role of airborne lead in increased body burden of lead in Hartford children. Environmental Health Perspectives, 7, 99–101.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Li, T. Q., et al. (2012). Exposure factors of activity patterns in environmental health risk assessment. Journal of Environmental Health, 29, 118–123. ((in Chinese with English abstract)).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Liang, Z., et al. (2019). Assessment of metal pollution, its potential health risks, and origin in different land use types in Zhuhai City China. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 76, 295–307.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Lin, C. Y., et al. (2017). Estimates of soil ingestion in a population of Chinese children. Environmental Health Perspectives, 125, 1–8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Liu, X. L., & Li, Z. Q. (1997). Study on characteristics of soil geological environment in Lanzhou area. Journal of Gansu Agricultural University, 3, 233–237. ((in Chinese with English abstract)).

    Google Scholar 

  26. Lyu, Y. L., et al. (2017). Characterization of dustfall in rural and urban sites during three dust storms in northern China, 2010. Aeolian Research, 28, 29–37.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Manton, W., et al. (2000). Acquisition and retention of lead by young children. Environmental Research, 82, 60–80.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Moya, J., & Philips, L. (2014). A review of soil and dust ingestion studies for children. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, 24, 545–554.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Nagel, T. R., & Schunk, J. E. (1997). Using the hand to estimate the surface area of a burn in children. Pediatric Emergency Care, 13, 254–255.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Özkaynak, H., et al. (2011). Modeled estimates of soil and dust ingestion rates for children. Risk Analysis., 31(4), 592–608.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Petropavlovskikh, R., et al. (2015). The influence of the North Atlantic Oscillation and El Niño-Southern Oscillation on mean and extreme values of column ozone over the United States. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 15, 3.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Que, H. S. S., et al. (1985). Evolution of efficient methods to sample lead sources, such as house dust and hand dust, in the homes of children. Environmental Research, 38, 77–95.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Rodrigues, S. M., & Rmkens, P. F. A. M. (2018). Human health risks and soil pollution. Soil Pollution, 217–250.

  34. Stanek, E. J., & Calabrese, E. J. (1992). Soil ingestion in children: Outdoor soil or indoor dust? Journal of Soil Contamination, 1(1), 1–28.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Staplenton, H. M., et al. (2008). Measurement of polybrominated diphenyl ethers on hand wipes: Estimating exposure from hand-to-mouth contact. Environmental Science and Technology, 429, 3329–3334.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Sugeng, E. J., et al. (2017). Brominated and organophosphorus flame retardants in body wipes and house dust, and an estimation of house dust hand-loadings in Dutch toddlers. Environmental Research, 158, 789–797.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Tepanosyan, G., et al. (2017). Heavy metals pollution levels and children health risk assessment of Yerevan kindergartens soils. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 142, 257–265.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  38. USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2011. Exposure Factors Handbook 2011 Edition (Final). EPA/600/R-09/052F. Washington, DC: U.S. EPA. https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/efp/recordisplay.cfm?deid=236252.

  39. USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), 2017. Update for Chapter 5 of the Exposure Factors Handbook Soil and Dust Ingestion.

  40. Wang, B. B., et al. (2018). A soil ingestion pilot study for teenage children in China. Chemosphere, 202, 40–47.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Wang, S. Y., et al. (2015). Quantification of soil/dust (SD) on the hands of children from Hubei Province, China using hand wipes. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 120, 193–197.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Weiss, J. M., et al. (2018). Daily intake of phthalates, MEHP, and DINCH by ingestion and inhalation. Chemosphere, 208, 40–49.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Wijnen, J. H., et al. (1990). Estimated soil ingestion by children. Environmental Research, 51, 147–162.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Wu, Y., et al. (2018). Policy distortions, farm size, and the overuse of agricultural chemicals in China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115, 7010–7015.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by National Key Research and Development Program of China (2019YFC1804601). The authors would like to express their sincere gratitude to all of those who put considerable time and effort into the sampling, sample processing, and sample analysis stages.

Funding

National Key Research and Development Program of China (2019YFC1804601).

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

YG: Data curation, Writing original draft, Formal analysis. YW: Investigation, Writing original draft. CL, DX, XD, BW, XL and HC: Investigation. QW: Project administration. JM: Funding acquisition, Project administration.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Qin Wang or Jin Ma.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Consent for publication

The ethical review was obtained from the ethical review committee of institute for environmental health and related product safety, Chinese center for disease control and prevention. It is recognized that the right and the welfare of the subject are adequately protected.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary information

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary file1 (DOCX 182 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gong, Y., Wu, Y., Lin, C. et al. Is hand-to-mouth contact the main pathway of children’s soil and dust intake?. Environ Geochem Health (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-021-00830-4

Download citation

Keywords

  • Children
  • Soil and dust
  • Hand-to-mouth
  • Conditional inference tree
  • Soil intake