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Adaptation of an International Job Exposure Matrix to Assess Exposure to Occupational Asthmagens in the United States.

Villnave JM; Breen VR; DeBruyckere DM; O'Connor EA; Heumann MA; Vollmer WM
Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2003 Apr; 167(7):A505
We adapted a previously described (Kennedy et al., Occup Environ Med 2000;57:635-641) asthma-specific job exposure matrix (AJEM) so that it could be used reliably in the United States. The AJEM and limited expert judgment can estimate asthma exposure risk in occupational epidemiology studies. The Kennedy et al. AJEM uses the International Standard Classification of Occupations, 1988 edition (ISOC-88) coding system. A coder trained in the U.S. Bureau of Census (BOC) system mapped each ISCO-88 code to a corresponding BOC-2000 code(s). An industrial hygienist and an occupational health physician then created exposure ratings for those BOC-2000 jobs that did not get mapped or that had multiple, inconsistently rated mappings. The mapping from ISCO-88 to BOC-2000 was surprisingly difficult. Of the 507 ISCO-88 codes in the Kennedy et al. AJEM, 133 (26%) could not be reliably mapped into BOC-2000 codes, and 224 (44%) of the 509 BOC-2000 codes had no mapping. An additional 74 BOC-2000 codes had multiple, inconsistent ISCO-88 mappings. Accordingly, we created new exposure ratings for over half of those in the new AJEM. Factors that made the mapping from ISCO-88 to BOC-2000 difficult included distinctions in education/skill level and in company size in ISCO-88 that are not present in BOC-2000. We have successfully adapted the Kennedy et al. AJEM to a tool that is more suitable for use in the U.S., where jobs are commonly coded using the U.S. BOC coding system. This will enable efficient assessment of occupational exposures to agents associated with asthma.
Job-analysis; Exposure-levels; Occupational-exposure; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Epidemiology; Industrial-hygienists; Bronchial-asthma; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Respiratory-system-disorders
Publication Date
Document Type
Abstract; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Email Address
Fiscal Year
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Disease and Injury; Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Source Name
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 2003 International Conference, The American Thoracic Society, Seattle, WA, May 16-21, 2003
Page last reviewed: September 17, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division