Mouthing activity data for children age 3 to <6 years old and fraction of hand area mouthed for children age <6 years old in Taiwan

Ming Chien Tsou, Halûk Özkaynak, Paloma Beamer, Winston Dang, Hsing Cheng Hsi, Chuen Bin Jiang, Ling Chu Chien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Non-dietary ingestion is an important exposure pathway for children owing to their frequent hand-to-mouth and object-to-mouth activities involving soil and dust contacts. We used videotaping and the computer-based translating methods to quantify the mouthing activity information for 24 children ages 3 to <6 years old living in Taiwan. We also reviewed the entire mouthing activity data collected during the project to determine the lesser studied information on hand surface areas mouthed by children ages <6 years old. The median indoor hand-to-mouth and object-to-mouth frequencies were found to be 10 and 4.3 contacts/h, respectively. Hand-to-mouth and object-to-mouth contact frequencies used in exposure assessments for children ages 3 to <6 years old in this study were similar to the recommended values reported in United States. Exposure Factors Handbook for comparable age US children. The average fractions of the hand area mouthed for children 6 to <12 months, 1 to <2 years, 2 to <3 years, and 3 to <6 years old were 0.12, 0.12, 0.13, and 0.09, respectively. The fraction of hand area mouthed by children was found to be significantly and negatively correlated with their age. About half of the total hand-to-mouth contact events involved immersion of part of a hand or a finger into the mouth. The findings from this study extend the available mouthing activity information for 3 to <6 years old children and also provide new data for an Asian country, allowing comparison of results with western values collected mostly in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-192
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • child exposure/health
  • exposure modeling
  • multi-media studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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