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Principles of Exposure Measurement in EpidemiologyCollecting, Evaluating, and Improving Measures of Disease Risk Factors$
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Emily White, Bruce K. Armstrong, and Rodolfo Saracci

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780198509851

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198509851.001.0001

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Measurements in the environment

Measurements in the environment

(p.325) 10 Measurements in the environment
Principles of Exposure Measurement in Epidemiology

Emily White

Bruce K. Armstrong

Rodolfo Saracci

Oxford University Press

A variety of physical, chemical, and biological constituents or contaminants can be measured in different segments of the external environment: soil, air, water, foods, and drugs. Objectivity and individualization of measurement is best achieved by personal samplers and measuring devices. For present exposures, elaborate sampling strategies can be devised, specifying place, time and number of measurements to be made. Measurements of past exposures may require conversion to measurements done with more recent and accurate methods using ‘conversion factors’, often subject to substantial uncertainty. Often no measurements of past exposures are available. In the occupational environment, a reconstruction can be attempted based on job titles, as they appear in work history and on conversion matrices translating jobs into exposures. Similarly food conversion tables are used to derive nutrients amounts from amounts of food consumed as assessed by questionnaires.

Keywords:   conversion factors, environmental measurements, exposure reconstruction, food tables, job titles, job-exposure matrix, personal samplers

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