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Assessment of health effects of fluctuating concentrations using simplified pharmacokinetic algorithms.
J Air Waste Manage Assoc 1996 Nov; 46(11):1022-1034
The purpose of this study was to develop a simple, practical method to improve the accuracy of assessing health effects by determining the concentration patterns inside the body resulting from fluctuating external pollutant concentrations. Linear pharmacokinetic processes were assumed, and the attenuations of the high- and low-frequency components of the external pattern when entering through the "biological window" were determined. Similar attenuations also were determined for the "time-averaged sampling window." It was shown that when the averaging time was less than 1/4 of the biological half-life, no information of biological significance was lost. Thus, a simple arithmetic step equation was proposed to convert external time-averaged concentrations to "biologically effective concentrations" proportional to internal concentrations. Calculations could readily be made in real time by a monitoring instrument, or even with a pocket calculator. Another simple algorithm was proposed for determining a "biological damage parameter" representative of cumulative damage if the body repair process is slow. Finally, simple algorithms were proposed for calculating body burdens from total absorbed mass rates, a procedure that should be useful for pollutants such as lead that may enter the body through multiple pathways. Results were compared with experimental and hypothetical data to show their utility.
Pollutants; Pollution; Occupational-health; Health-hazards; Sampling; Air-contamination; Models; Mathematical-models; Risk-factors; Risk-analysis
Issue of Publication
Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association
University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division