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Role of NHANES/WWEIA in Dietary Exposure Assessment 

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: National Nutrition Monitoring
: Dietary Exposure
: David Miller4 15 Oct 2012
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The EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs makes extensive use of USDA's "What We Eat in America" (NHANES/WWEIA) in our risk assessments for pesticides, and these form an integral part of our work in ensuring a safe food supply. The information of foods "as eaten" collected under NHANES/WWEIA is converted to a food commodity basis and used to produce EPA's Food Commodity Intake Database (FCID) which, in turn, is used in a variety of exposure modeling softwares including the Dietary Exposure Evaluation Model (DEEM) (see ; the Stochastic Human Exposure and Dose Simulator (SHEDS - see , and the Cumulative Aggregate and Risk Evaluation System (CARES, see which all rely on this consumption data. The data used by OPP has been made publically available at a site hosted by the University of Maryland-Food and Drug Administration's Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN) at While the food consumption data produced under NHANES/WWEIA is used extensively by OPP, the data are also used to support many facets of exposure science in general. For example, a lot of the contents of the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology relate to dietary consumption data, and a much of this data ultimately comes from NHANES/WWEIA. This is also evidenced by perhaps half the chapters in EPA's Exposure Factors Handbook containing data on food consumption, with the most recent data coming from NHANES/WWEIA 2003-2006. A recent USDA issue of Agricultural Research (see spotlighted the many uses of this data by numerous parties and programs. Sometimes NHANES/WWEIA is almost exclusively connected in peoples minds with nutrition and nutritional epidemiology. In reality, the important information provided by NHANES and its WWEIA component affects a much wider swath of important exposure and regulatory science practices and policies, and the conduct of the survey provides critical information for both the private sector and for government regulation and policy.

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