Developing a company-specific job exposure matrix for the Asbest Chrysotile Cohort Study

Occup Environ Med. 2021 Oct 8:oemed-2021-107438. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2021-107438. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: Exposure assessment for retrospective industrial cohorts are often hampered by limited availability of historical measurements. This study describes the development of company-specific job-exposure matrices (JEMs) based on measurements collected over five decades for a cohort study of 35 837 workers (Asbest Chrysotile Cohort Study) in the Russian Federation to estimate their cumulative exposure to chrysotile containing dust and fibres.

METHODS: Almost 100 000 recorded stationary dust measurements were available from 1951-2001 (factories) and 1964-2001 (mine). Linear mixed models were used to extrapolate for years where measurements were not available or missing. Fibre concentrations were estimated using conversion factors based on side-by-side comparisons. Dust and fibre JEMs were developed and exposures were allocated by linking them to individual workers’ detailed occupational histories.

RESULTS: The cohort covered a total of 515 355 employment-years from 1930 to 2010. Of these individuals, 15% worked in jobs not considered professionally exposed to chrysotile. The median cumulative dust exposure was 26 mg/m3 years for the entire cohort and 37.2 mg/m3 years for those professionally exposed. Median cumulative fibre exposure was 16.4 fibre/cm3 years for the entire cohort and 23.4 fibre/cm3 years for those professionally exposed. Cumulative exposure was highly dependent on birth cohort and gender. Of those professionally exposed, women had higher cumulative exposures than men as they were more often employed in factories with higher exposure concentrations rather than in the mine.

CONCLUSIONS: Unique company-specific JEMs were derived using a rich measurement database that overlapped with most employment-years of cohort members and will enable estimation of quantitative exposure-response.

PMID:34625507 | DOI:10.1136/oemed-2021-107438

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