BRIEF REPORT: PDF OnlyApplication of an Event Marker in the Occupational Epidemiologic Study of Acute Irritant SymptomsHu, Xiaohan; Wegman, David H.; Eisen, Ellen A.; Woskie, Susan R. Author Information Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, and Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA. Epidemiology 4(3):p 266-270, May 1993. Free Abstract Field studies of occupational exposure to airborne irritants have predominantly relied on symptom surveys of study participants. As part of a new approach to the study of acute irritant symptoms, subjects exposed to sodium borate dusts recorded their symptom responses at hourly interviews as well as instantaneously on an electronic device called an event marker. Overall, the unprompted marks indicated fewer irritant events than the interviews. Marks were more frequent in the presence of more than one type of symptom and also appeared to reflect more severe symptoms. A proportion of the marked events occurred in time intervals when no symptoms were recalled during the interview. The exposure-response relations were similar regardless of whether they were based on the interview reports or the electronically marked symptoms. The event marker provided a means to examine the time of onset of the acute symptom event. It also made it possible to examine directly the timing profiles of symptom response in relation to changes in exposure levels in a field setting. Despite some inconsistencies, the finding suggests that the event marker may provide an alternative to frequent interviews of exposed workers to obtain irritant symptom responses for exposure-response modeling. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.