Epidemiologic design for field studies. Occupational neurotoxicity.
Scand J Work, Environ & Health 1981 Dec; 7(Suppl 4):34-39
The methods used to assess the neurophysiological and neurobehavioral effects of occupational diseases are reviewed. Study design problems are presented. The design of cross sectional epidemiological studies pose many problems in occupational settings. Two main variables are the interrelationship between exposure and response. The lack of past industrial hygiene measurements often requires that past exposures be estimated or substituted for actual exposure measurements. Consideration must be given to other possible influencing factors such as age, alcohol intake, and education. The time frame of exposure and response measurement or latency period is often hard to determine. Acute symptoms of individuals exposed to methyl-alcohol (67561) while operating duplicator machines, the latent psychological effects of pesticide exposure by a group of firefighters, and identification of specific neurotoxic agents among workers in a chemical facility with exposure to a number of different chemicals are examined. The authors conclude that careful study design and analysis are necessary to evaluate neurotoxic effects.
NIOSH-Author; Work-capacity; Industrial-environment; Nerve-function; Biological-effects; Epidemiology; Health-hazards; Environmental-factors; Neurological-diseases; Neurotoxic-effects; Occupational-hazards;
Author Keywords: epidemiologic study design; methyl alcohol; neurobehavioral tests; neurotoxic; organ-risk index; pesticides
Dr JM Melius, Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health