NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Methodologic issues in using epidemiologic studies for quantitative risk assessment.
Conference on Chemical Risk Assessment in the Department of Defense (DoD): Science, Policy, and Practice. Clewell-HJ III, ed., Cincinnati, OH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, Inc., 1992 Jan; :43-51
Methodological issues involved in using epidemiological studies for quantitative risk assessments were discussed. Limitations of studies of laboratory animals were associated with extrapolation of results between species and with the high doses administered to the animals relative to typical human exposures. Major methodological issues and attendant uncertainties related to designing and analyzing epidemiological studies included the following: exposure and dose estimation, confounding, effect modification, sample size and statistical power, length of follow up, latency, and lag periods. Lack of adequate exposure information was most often cited as the reason for not basing risk assessments on epidemiological studies. Confounding by other risk factors is regarded as the single greatest problem when using epidemiological studies in risk assessment. Statistical considerations for performing risk assessments were discussed using data from a NIOSH assessment of lung cancer risk and exposure of workers at a cadmium (7440439) production facility. The lifetime risk for dying from lung cancer after 45 years of exposure to cadmium fumes at the current OSHA standard, 100 micrograms per cubic meter, was predicted to range from five to ten per 100 workers.
Epidemiology; Risk-analysis; Hazardous-materials; Statistical-analysis; In-vivo-studies; Laboratory-animals; Dose-response; Lung-cancer; Heavy-metals; Occupational-exposure;
Conference on Chemical Risk Assessment in the Department of Defense (DoD): Science, Policy, and Practice
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division