An examination was made to determine the potential differences between deposited particulate (dose) and measured particulate (exposure) using devices that sample according to the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists and (ACGIH) and International Standards Organization (ISO) criteria and to assess the effect of these differences on epidemiological dose response studies. Results indicated that the amount of bias varied with both geometric mean and geometric standard deviation. Therefore there would be a different exposure/dose relationship and exposure/response relationship for each particle size distribution. This would result in additional variability in exposure/response analyses unless all members of a given cohort were exposed to the same particle distribution. The author concludes that exposure measurements based on either the ACGIH or ISO collection efficiency curve may not be suitable for occupational epidemiology. If groups within a cohort are exposed to substantially different particle size distributions, total mass measurements and particle size distribution data should be collected. The mass distribution, coupled with lung deposition curves, can then be used to calculate an exposure that more accurately estimates dose or deposited particulate. The resulting exposure data will have less variability and should improve the probability of observing a significant exposure/response relationship.
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