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Ann Occup Hyg. 2010 Oct;54(7):813-23. doi: 10.1093/annhyg/meq059. Epub 2010 Sep 22.

Exposure assessment for a nested case-control study of lung cancer among European asphalt workers.

Author information

1
Institute of Risk Assessment Sciences, University of Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Development of a method for retrospective assessment of exposure to bitumen fume, bitumen condensate, organic vapour, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and co-exposures to known or suspected lung carcinogens for a nested case-control study of lung cancer mortality among European asphalt workers.

METHODS:

Company questionnaires and structured questionnaires used in interviews and industry-specific job-exposure matrices (JEMs) were elaborated and applied. Three sources of information were eventually used for exposure assessment and assignment: (i) data obtained in cohort phase, (ii) data from living subjects, next-of-kin, and fellow-workers questionnaires, and (iii) JEMs for bitumen exposure by inhalation and via skin and co-exposures to known or suspected lung carcinogens within and outside cohort companies. Inhalation and dermal exposure estimates for bitumen were adjusted for time trends, time spent in a job, and other determinants of exposure (e.g. oil gravel paving). Clothing patterns, personal protective devices, and personal hygiene were taken into consideration while estimating dermal exposure.

RESULTS:

Occupational exposures could be assessed for 433 cases and 1253 controls for relevant time periods. Only 43% of work histories were spent inside original asphalt and construction companies. A total of 95.8% of job periods in cohort companies could be coded at a more detailed level. Imputation of work time and 'hygienic behaviour' multipliers was needed for <10% of work history years. Overall, downward trends in exposure were present and differences existed between countries and companies. As expected, correlations were strongest (r > 0.7) among bitumen-related agents, while correlations between coal tar, bitumen-related agents, and established lung carcinogens were weaker (r < 0.4).

CONCLUSIONS:

A systematic and detailed approach was developed to estimate inhalation and dermal exposure for a nested case-control study among asphalt workers.

PMID:
20861450
DOI:
10.1093/annhyg/meq059
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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