Academic journal article Journal of Risk and Insurance

Compliance versus Risk in Assessing Occupational Exposures

Academic journal article Journal of Risk and Insurance

Compliance versus Risk in Assessing Occupational Exposures

Article excerpt

Compliance Versus Risk in Assessing Occupational Exposures, by Rogelio Tornero-Valez, Elaine Symanski, Hans Kromhout, Rong C. Yu, and Stephen M. Rappaport (University of North Carolina)

Assessments of occupational exposures to chemicals are generally based upon the practice of compliance testing in which the probability of compliance is related to the exceedance (Gamma, the likelihood that any measurement would exceed an occupational exposure limit [OEL]) and the number of measurements obtained. On the other hand, workers' chronic health risks generally depend upon cumulative lifetime exposures which are not directly related to the probability of compliance. In this paper we define the probability of "overexposure" (Theta) as the likelihood that individual risk (a function cumulative exposure) exceeds the risk inherent in the OEL (a function of the OEL and duration of exposure). We regard Theta as a relevant measure of individual risk for chemicals, such as carcinogens, which produce chronic effects after long-term exposures but not necessarily for acutely-toxic substances which can produce effects relatively quickly. We apply a randomeffects model to data from 179 groups of workers exposed to a variety of chemical agents and obtain parameter estimates for the group mean exposure and the withinand between-worker components of variance. …

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