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Assessment of occupational exposure in an epidemiologic study of COPD.

Graziani M; Doney B; Hnizdo E; Villnave J; Breen V; Weinmann S; Volmer W; McBurnie MA; Buist S
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 13-16, 2006, Chicago, Illinois. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2006 May; :1
When evaluating the risk of COPD associated with occupational exposure in the general population, evaluation of occupational exposure is often done through the use of a Job Exposure Matrix (JEM). The aim of our study is to describe the methodology used to evaluate lifetime occupational exposure in a set of COPD 391 cases and 359 controls studied for an association between COPD and occupational exposure. The methodology involved assignment of an index of exposure to specific categories of potential environmental hazards occurring in the workplace, and estimation of the occupational exposure over the working lifetime of an individual. The specific hazard categories were mineral dust, organic dust, solvents, diesel, irritants, sensitizers, metal dusts/fumes and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). The assignment was based on the best available information (including self-report) and taking into account potential time trends in exposure level. The results from the study of COPD show that an associations between COPD status and occupational exposure was identified for exposure to irritant gases and vapors (OR=1.7, 95% CI = 1.2-2.4) and diesel exhaust (1.7, 1.1-2.7). Irritant Gas/Vapor was the most common exposure type for the top six Occupational codes (Office, Sales, Production-machine, Management, Food and drink workers, and Computer workers). Organic dust was most common in Agriculture, Wood production, and Textile production. Organic solvents were common in Transportation maintenance, Maintenance and repair, and Service station attendants. Diesel was commonly coded in Transportation, Material moving workers, Mining, and Logging. Sensitizers were frequently coded for Productionmachine operators, Personal care and services (includes beauticians), and Agriculture. Kappa statistics indicated high agreement between the industrial hygienists who did the scoring. The agreements in this study ranged from "moderate" (46% agreement) to "almost perfect" (81 % agreement).
Occupational-exposure; Exposure-assessment; Epidemiology; Risk-factors; Risk-analysis; Occupational-hazards; Environmental-hazards; Dusts; Dust-particles; Dust-exposure; Mineral-dusts; Organic-dusts; Metal-dusts; Metal-fumes; Tobacco-smoke; Exposure-levels; Workers; Worker-health; Gases; Vapors; Diesel-exhausts; Surveillance
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Source Name
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 13-16, 2006, Chicago, Illinois
Page last reviewed: August 26, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division