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The Value of Human Exposure Monitoring in the DEARS

Williams, Ron*; Vette, Alan*; Croghan, Carry*; Jones, Paul*; Stevens, Carvin*; Rodes, Charles; Thornburg, Jonathan; Lawless, Phil; Daughtrey, Hunter

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000362774.22411.0b
Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Symposium Abstracts: Symposia Presentations

*US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, United States; †RTI International, Research Triangle Park, United States; and ‡Alion Science and Technology, Research Triangle Park, United States.

Abstracts published in Epidemiology have been reviewed by the organizations of Epidemiology. Affliate Societies at whose meetings the abstracts have been accepted for presentation. These abstracts have not undergone review by the Editorial Board of Epidemiology.


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The US EPA recently completed the Detroit Exposure and Aerosol Research Study (DEARS). This three year field study (2004–2007) had a primary goal of understanding the agreement between community-based measurements of particulate matter (and its components) and select air toxics with those from matched daily personal and residential (indoor and outdoor) monitoring. A low-burden monitoring vest was used to station a compliment of both active and passive monitors on each participant. Nearly 36,000 pollutant measurements were obtained as well as almost 1200 participant monitoring days of survey information. Monitoring compliance (percentage of time a participant actually wore the vest each day) was determined to be an important factor in reducing surrogate uncertainty. Mean seasonal personal exposures to PM2.5 of ambient origin (Fpex) were determined to range from 0.56 to 0.80 once environmental tobacco smoke and personal monitoring compliance were factored. Ambient-based measures of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were often less than acceptable surrogates of personal exposure. Ambient measures accounted for only 14 and 20% of the total personal exposure variability to benzene and 1,3 butadiene, respectively. Ambient-based measures of nitrogen dioxide were not significant predictors of human exposures (P = 0.17). DEARS data are providing the means to establish the uncertainty of ambient-based measures for epidemiological studies for a variety of pollutants. The value of which is the reduction in exposure misclassification in risk assessment or exposure modeling. Although this work was reviewed by EPA and approved for publication, it may not necessarily reflect official Agency policy.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.