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Recent advances in assessment of workplace exposure - epidemiologic linkage of medical and environmental data.

J Environ Sci Health. Part A, Environ Sci Eng 1982 Aug-Sep; 17(4):499-513
The usefulness of epidemiology in assessing the effects of acute and chronic workplace exposures is discussed. Industrial hygiene provides data on dose and medical science supplies information on response; epidemiology links these two. A NIOSH study of acute exposure to methyl-alcohol (67561) vapors from duplicating machines is examined to demonstrate the dose/response relationship between reported illness and suspect causal agent. This constitutes strong evidence of the etiologic role of the agent in the illness. The epidemiologic dose/response approach to evaluate workplace exposures in the absence of direct environment measurements is examined in an evaluation of health consequences of ozone (10028156) exposure in flight attendants. NIOSH studies of chronic occupational lead (7439921) exposure are discussed to show the relationship of blood lead concentrations to the occurrence of symptoms and to the prevalence of alterations in hematologic function. A NIOSH study of cancer mortality in relation to chronic radiation exposure in a shipyard is summarized to show the concept of cumulative or serially additive doses in the epidemiologic assessment of chronic workplace exposure. The author concludes that future research of toxins in the workplace assessments should concentrate on continuing development of reliable data collection systems, development of more sensitive and specific measures of outcome, and the development of data systems for systematic recording and storage of data on dose and outcome.
Analytical-methods; Quantitative-analysis; Disease-incidence; Employee-exposure; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-accidents; Risk-analysis; Industrial-chemicals; Work-environment; Biological-effects; Author Keywords: Epidemiology; toxicology; dose-response relationships; lead; methyl alcohol; ozone; ionizing radiation
67-56-1; 10028-15-6; 7439-92-1
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Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Part A: Environmental Science and Engineering