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Controlling exposure profiles: critique of current practice.

Hewett P
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1998 May; :11
The purpose of this presentation is to compare and critique the range of exposure monitoring program models used by IHs to manage risk in the workplace. Several general methodologies, or exposure monitoring programs, were considered: individual-based; maximum risk employee-based, and group-based (subdivided into those based on exposure zones, homogeneous exposure groups, similar exposure groups, and monomorphic exposure groups). The methodology used by the IH to assess and control each employee's exposure- profile first reflects the statistical interpretation the IH imparts to the relevant occupational exposure limit (OEL). Available resources influence baseline survey sample sizes and the sample size and frequency of follow-up audits. Sample size affects the sophistication of the data analysis techniques. Lack of group homogeneity can be offset by using upper confidence limit-based statistical techniques. Large sample size and highly sophisticated data analysis techniques can be offset by invalid statistical interpretations of legal or authoritative OELs. In principle, the most efficient approach is one based on the MRE concept. Proper selection of MREs can be improved by experience and use of modem direct reading survey instruments. Group-based strategies are preferred since they characterize the exposure profiles of a larger percentage of workers. In summary, IHs have a range of methodologies for controlling exposure profiles. Each has advantages, disadvantages, underlying assumptions, and differing levels of efficiency. Recognition of the strengths and limitations of each methodology permits the selection and application of the most efficient and reliable exposure monitoring program for each work environment.
Industrial-exposures; Employee-exposure; Exposure-assessment; Industrial-hygienists; Sampling; Analytical-processes; Analytical-models; Statistical-analysis; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Analytical-instruments; Surveillance-programs; Sampling-methods; Monitoring-systems
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division