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Ann Work Expo Health. 2017 Oct 1;61(8):954-964. doi: 10.1093/annweh/wxx069.

Comparing the Advanced REACH Tool's (ART) Estimates With Switzerland's Occupational Exposure Data.

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Institute for Work and Health (IST), University of Lausanne and University of Geneva, Route de la Corniche 2, CH-1066 Epalinges-Lausanne, Switzerland.
Chemicals and Occupational Health Unit, Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Holzikofenweg 36, CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland.
TNO, PO Box 360, 3700 AJ Zeist, The Netherlands.


The Advanced REACH Tool (ART) is the most sophisticated tool used for evaluating exposure levels under the European Union's Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals (REACH) regulations. ART provides estimates at different percentiles of exposure and within different confidence intervals (CIs). However, its performance has only been tested on a limited number of exposure data. The present study compares ART's estimates with exposure measurements collected over many years in Switzerland. Measurements from 584 cases of exposure to vapours, mists, powders, and abrasive dusts (wood/stone and metal) were extracted from a Swiss database. The corresponding exposures at the 50th and 90th percentiles were calculated in ART. To characterize the model's performance, the 90% CI of the estimates was considered. ART's performance at the 50th percentile was only found to be insufficiently conservative with regard to exposure to wood/stone dusts, whereas the 90th percentile showed sufficient conservatism for all the types of exposure processed. However, a trend was observed with the residuals, where ART overestimated lower exposures and underestimated higher ones. The median was more precise, however, and the majority (≥60%) of real-world measurements were within a factor of 10 from ART's estimates. We provide recommendations based on the results and suggest further, more comprehensive, investigations.


REACH; advanced REACH Tool; exposure measurements; model performance and validation; occupational exposure models

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