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Types of exposure models and advantages and disadvantages of sources of exposure data for use in occupational reproductive studies.
Reproduction: the new frontier in occupational and environmental health research: proceedings of the Fifth Annual RMCOEH Occupational and Environmental Health Conference, Park City, Utah, April 5-8, 1983. Lockey JE, Lemasters GK, Keye WR Jr., eds. New York: Alan R. Liss, Inc., 1984 Sep; :67-79
Reproductive outcomes and sources of exposure data for use in occupational reproductive hazard analysis are reviewed. Chronic and acute exposure models are distinguished. The chronic exposure model emphasizes duration of exposure while the acute exposure model assumes the timing and dose of exposure during a brief period are crucial. For many reproductive outcomes it is not total exposure that is important, but exposure relative to a specific period of reproductive development of either sperm or fetus. The prudent investigator, it is argued, should use both chronic and acute exposure models. Problems with degrees of exposure in reproductive outcome studies are examined. In the observable human condition, the principle that manifestation of deviant development increases with increased exposure might not be apparent. For example, high exposure might induce great damage and very early fetal loss so that comparison of congenital malformations or spontaneous abortions in highly exposed and control groups might not reflect exposure effects. In this case, analysis of periods of subfecundity or menstrual disorders in female workers might have been more appropriate end points. Thus outcomes to be investigated should be carefully chosen. Some primary end points that might be assessed after exposure of workers of each sex are listed. Examination of workers with different exposures is also recommended to differentiate possible outcomes. Two basic sources of exposure data are described: numerical measurement information such as biological or industrial hygiene data and categorical exposure information such as personnel records or interview data. Advantages and disadvantages of each are discussed. The authors conclude that no one type of exposure model or source of information is perfect. Selection of appropriate study outcomes, linking exposure information with the reproductive event and determining the relevant exposure time period make occupational reproductive research extremely difficult, time consuming, and subject to error.
Environmental-physiology; Industrial-hazards; Analytical-models; Environmental-factors; Workers; Exposure-limits; Industrial-emissions; Analytical-methods; Environmental-exposure; Workplace-studies; Exposure-levels
Lockey-JE; Lemasters-GK; Keye-WR Jr.
Reproduction: the new frontier in occupational and environmental health research: proceedings of the Fifth Annual RMCOEH Occupational and Environmental Health Conference, Park City, Utah, April 5-8, 1983
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division