Consideration of age-related changes in behavior trends in older adults in assessing risks of environmental exposures

Lauren Tuttle, Qingyu Meng, Jacqueline Moya, Douglas O. Johns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: To explore age-related behavior differences between older and younger adults, and to review how older adult activity patterns are considered in evaluating the potential risk of exposure to environmental pollutants. Methods: Activity pattern data and their use in risk assessments were analyzed using the U.S. EPA Exposure Factors Handbook (EFH), U.S. EPA Consolidated Human Activity Pattern Database (CHAD), and peer-reviewed literature describing human health risk assessments. Results: The characterization by age of some factors likely to impact older adults' exposures remains limited. We demonstrate that age-related behavior trends vary between younger and older adults, and these differences are rarely explicitly considered in environmental health risk assessment for older adults. Discussion: Incorporating older adult exposure factors into risk assessments may be challenging because of data gaps and difficulty in defining and appropriately binning older adults. Additional data related to older adult exposure factors are warranted for evaluating risk among this susceptible population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-273
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of aging and health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


  • activity patterns
  • behavior
  • exposure factors
  • older adults
  • risk assessment

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