EPA Science Matters Newsletter: Information at Your Fingertips: EPA Exposure Toolbox
Published October 2014
In November 2013, EPA scientists took a major step toward increasing the accessibility of exposure assessment information with the release of EPA-Expo-Box. According to Linda Phillips, an EPA scientist who led the effort to develop the tool, “We wanted to design a user-friendly resource that would provide easy access to information and tools needed for conducting exposure assessments.”
EPA-Expo-Box is an online “one-stop-shop” that puts a wealth of data and resources at the fingertips of scientists and risk assessors conducting assessments of human exposures to environmental contaminants through the air, water, soil, and food. Organized according to topic areas relevant to exposure assessment, the true innovation behind the toolbox is the underlying database that includes links and corresponding descriptions for more than 800 tools. The links and tools includes databases, models, guidance documents, and tutorials that explain everything from the basics of exposure assessment to more complex topics such as monitoring and modeling, interpreting biomarkers of exposure, and assessing uncertainty in exposure assessments. Additionally, a quick finder function allows users to rapidly access basic information on exposure assessments, glossaries, data quality, environmental justice, and other topics.
“It’s really helpful to have all of that information in one place,” says Cathy Fehrenbacher, chief of the exposure assessment branch in EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, about the new EPA-Expo-Box. As someone on the forefront of the science of exposure assessment, Fehrenbacher and her staff are some of the prime users of EPA-Expo-Box.