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Assessment Methodology for Newly Emerging Exposures in Environmental Epidemiology

Teitelbaum, Susan1; Calafat, Antonia2

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000392074.06031.90
Abstracts: ISEE 22nd Annual Conference, Seoul, Korea, 28 August–1 September 2010: Assessment Methodology for Newly Emerging Exposures in Environmental Epidemiology

1Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY; and 2Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, Atlanta, GA.

Abstracts published in Epidemiology have been reviewed by the 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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Accurate assignment of exposures, which can be evaluated in relation to health outcomes is the cornerstone of successful environmental epidemiologic studies. Current methods of exposure assessment include both direct and indirect measures including internal dose (ie, biomarkers); self-reported exposure based on diet or consumption/use of products; personal monitoring; assignment of exposure based on occupation or residence that may rely on environmental measures. Each method has strengths and weaknesses. Cost, feasibility, and possible misclassification must all be considered when choosing the exposure assessment method for an epidemiologic study.

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Emerging environmental exposures of concern such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, polyfluoroalkyl compounds, phthalates, and bisphenol A require focused attention for exposure assessment due to issues related to multiple sources of exposure, unknown exposure sources, and temporal representation of the available biomarkers. This symposium will explore selected examples of exposure assessment that have been/can be used in environmental epidemiologic studies and will include a period of discussion on the pros and cons of direct and indirect environmental exposure assessment approaches.

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The presentations will include advantages, limitations, and challenges associated with accurate measurement of air pollutants in both outdoor and indoor environments, as well as personal exposures; the possibilities and limitations of biological monitoring using examples of exposures to endocrine disruptors such as phthalates and bisphenol A, and exposure to a well-known carcinogen, environmental tobacco smoke; and a comprehensive presentation on the advantages and disadvantages of various exposure assessments used for polybrominated diphenyl ethers.

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This symposium takes a unique cross-society approach by bringing together exposure scientists and environmental epidemiologists through an exploration of the methodological issues related to emerging environmental exposures.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.