Chemical process based reconstruction of exposures for an epidemiological study: I. Theoretical and methodological issues.
Esmen-NA; Hall-TA; Phillips-ML; Marsh-GM
Chem-Biol Interact 2007 Mar; 166(1-3):254-263
In the occupational hygiene component of occupational epidemiological studies the goal is to assign group average exposure levels that can be used to compute individual cumulative exposures. This task requires the availability of sufficient amounts of proper individual exposure level data. Typically, the required data are either sparse, completely lacking or happenstance data collected for purposes not suitable for the aims of the study. In the epidemiological study of mortality patterns among industrial workers exposed to chloroprene and other substances, we developed and used a process analysis and modeling based exposure reconstruction to augment, extrapolate, or interpolate the available exposure data. The models developed utilize equations based on the engineering principles and chemistry associated with the processes as determined from the process documentation and task performance habits as determined from interviews of knowledgeable personnel. The resulting equations are tractable and provide a general basis for calculating exposure levels for vapors. The validation of the results with available exposure measurements suggests that comprehensive process analysis and modeling may be used to reconstruct exposures or to evaluate exposure potential with scientifically defensible methods. Furthermore, even in the absence of validating data, the methodology developed has potentially very useful applications in predicting exposure levels to newly synthesized substances. Properly interpreted, the limitations of modeling can be minimized to obtain scientifically reasonable results
Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Epidemiology; Chemical-reactions; Analytical-processes; Models
Nurtan A. Esmen, University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, SPHW, MC 922, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, 2121 W. Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60622
University of Illinois at Chicago