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J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2012 May-Jun;22(3):274-80. doi: 10.1038/jes.2012.8. Epub 2012 Feb 29.

Personal exposure monitoring wearing protocol compliance: an initial assessment of quantitative measurement.

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RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA.


Personal exposure sampling provides the most accurate and representative assessment of exposure to a pollutant, but only if measures are implemented to minimize exposure misclassification and reduce confounders that may cause misinterpretation of the collected data. Poor compliance with personal sampler wearing protocols can create positive or negative biases in the reported exposure concentrations, depending on proximity of the participant or the personal sampler to the pollutant source when the monitor was not worn as instructed. This paper presents an initial quantitative examination of personal exposure monitor wearing protocol compliance during a longitudinal particulate matter personal exposure monitoring study of senior citizens of compromise health in North Carolina. Wearing compliance varied between participants because of gender or employment status, but not longitudinally or between cohorts. A minimum waking wearing compliance threshold, 0.4 for this study of senior citizens, is suggested to define when personal exposure measurements are representative of a participant's exposure. The ability to define a minimum threshold indicates data weighting techniques may be used to estimate a participant's exposure assuming perfect protocol compliance.

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