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Comparison of self-assessment and expert assessment of occupational exposure to chemicals
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational Medicine.
School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational Medicine. National Institute for Working Life, Programme for Chemical Exposure Assessment, Umeå.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational Medicine.
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2001 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, ISSN 0355-3140, E-ISSN 1795-990X, Vol. 27, no 5, 311-317 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVES: Occupational assessments of chemical exposure are often inadequate because of difficulties in obtaining sufficient numbers of measurements by trained professionals (experts). The objective of this study was to determine whether workers can provide unbiased data via self-assessments of exposure facilitated by the use of simple passive monitors for personal sampling.

METHODS: Untrained workers obtained personal measurements of their exposures to gaseous contaminants (terpenes in sawmills and styrene in reinforced plastics factories) with passive monitors and written instructions. To study the validity of the self-assessments, an occupational hygienist performed exposure measurements on the same occupational groups after the workers had obtained two or more measurements independently. The potential bias of the self-assessments was evaluated by comparing the self-assessments with the expert assessments in mixed-effects statistical models.

RESULTS: A total of 153 terpene (97 self and 56 expert) and 216 styrene (159 self and 57 expert) measurements were obtained from four sawmills and six reinforced plastics factories, respectively. No significant differences in the geometric mean exposures were observed between the self-assessments and the expert assessments in 3 of 4 sawmills and 5 of 6 reinforced plastics factories (P > 0.10). The potential bias of the self-assessments of exposure ranged from less than 0.1% to 102% and was less than 17% in 9 of the 10 groups investigated.

CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that untrained, unsupervised workers are able to collect consistently unbiased exposure data by employing currently available passive monitors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tyoterveyslaitos, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health , 2001. Vol. 27, no 5, 311-317 p.
Keyword [en]
exposure assessments, occupational monitoring, styrene, terpenes, worker participation
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-83471DOI: 10.5271/sjweh.619ISI: 000172008400003PubMedID: 11712611OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-83471DiVA: diva2:667424
Available from: 2013-11-26 Created: 2013-11-26 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Liljelind, Ingrid ELevin, Jan-OlofPettersson-Strömbäck, Anita EJärvholm, Bengt G

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Liljelind, Ingrid ELevin, Jan-OlofPettersson-Strömbäck, Anita EJärvholm, Bengt G
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Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

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