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Exposure assessment in risk assessment.

Herrick RF
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; :53-57
The role of exposure evaluation in risk assessment was discussed. A risk assessment attempts to quantify the association between exposure and response to determine the risk of the response occurring at a level above the background. Exposure information is used to identify hazards and assist researchers in establishing dose response relationships and to develop population based exposure estimates. A conceptual model of exposure and its association with the toxic response or health effect (exposure/dose response continuum (EDRC)) was presented. Continuum components included ambient concentration of the agent which depends on the composition and magnitude of exposure, dose, molecular outcome as a reflection of receptor site effects, and clinical outcome. Techniques for assessing population exposures were considered. Obtaining individual personal exposure measurements is the most desirable exposure assessment technique; however, this is usually not feasible. The simplest technique is to use a dichotomous system that classifies subjects as either exposed or not exposed. Semiquantitative methods include using duration of employment as a marker for cumulative or total exposure and ordered ranking systems that classify subjects into categories based upon levels of exposure. A recently developed technique involves assigning unique exposure values to each subject over the period of interest. This method can be used if some type of quantitative exposure data exists. The problem of exposure misclassification was considered. The author concludes that valid exposure assessment is an essential component of quantitative risk assessment. Having such information will increase the probability that a risk assessment will correctly identify the associations between exposure and response and accurately determine the strength of the associations.
Risk-analysis; Epidemiology; Occupational-hazards; Environmental-exposure; Statistical-analysis; Dose-response; Quantitative-analysis
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Clewell HJ III
Fiscal Year
Source Name
Conference on Chemical Risk Assessment in the Department of Defense (DoD): Science, Policy, and Practice
Page last reviewed: February 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division