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  • Research Article
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Video methods in the quantification of children's exposures

Abstract

In 1994, Stanford University's Exposure Research Group (ERG) conducted its first pilot study to collect micro-level activity time series (MLATS) data for young children. The pilot study involved videotaping four children of farm workers in the Salinas Valley of California and converting their videotaped activities to valuable text files of contact behavior using video-translation techniques. These MLATS are especially useful for describing intermittent dermal (i.e., second-by-second account of surfaces and objects contacted) and non-dietary ingestion (second-by-second account of objects or hands placed in the mouth) contact behavior. Second-by-second records of children contact behavior are amenable to quantitative and statistical analysis and allow for more accurate model estimates of human exposure and dose to environmental contaminants. Activity patterns data for modeling inhalation exposure (i.e., accounts of microenvironments visited) can also be extracted from the MLATS data. Since the pilot study, ERG has collected an immense MLATS data set for 92 children using more developed and refined videotaping and video-translation methodologies. This paper describes all aspects required for the collection of MLATS including: subject recruitment techniques, videotaping and video-translation processes, and potential data analysis. This paper also describes the quality assurance steps employed for these new MLATS projects, including: training, data management, and the application of interobserver and intraobserver agreement during video translation. The discussion of these issues and ERG's experiences in dealing with them can assist other groups in the conduct of research that employs these more quantitative techniques.

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Acknowledgements

We thank many members of ERG over the last 10 years who have helped to develop the videotaping and video-translation methodologies and contributed to the collection of MLATS data for children. This research was in part supported through the U.C. Berkeley's Center for the Health Assessment of the Mother and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) program (EPA Grant #R826709 and NIEHS Grant # SP01ES09605). We appreciate the contributions of A. Bradman and B. Eskenazi for their work with us on the Time Activity Analysis (TAA) portion of the CHAMACOS project. Our thanks also to the funding sources and individuals we collaborated with us on other projects, in particular the Outdoor Residential Exposure Task Force (ORETF), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We also appreciate the time and commitment of the participating families and children on all projects.

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Correspondence to Alesia C Ferguson.

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Ferguson, A., Canales, R., Beamer, P. et al. Video methods in the quantification of children's exposures. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 16, 287–298 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.jea.7500459

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