As it is often difficult to obtain sufficient numbers of measurements to adequately characterise exposure levels, occupational exposure models may be useful tools in the exposure assessment process. This study aims to refine and validate the inhalable dust algorithm of the Advanced REACH Tool (ART) to predict airborne exposure of workers in the pharmaceutical industry. The ART was refined to reflect pharmaceutical situations. Largely task based workplace exposure data (n = 192) were collated from a multinational pharmaceutical company with exposure levels ranging from 5 × 10-5 to 12 mg m-3. Bias, relative bias and uncertainty around geometric mean exposure estimates were calculated for 16 exposure scenarios. For 12 of the 16 scenarios the ART geometric mean exposure estimates were lower than measured exposure levels with on average, a one-third underestimation of exposure (relative bias -32%). For 75% of the scenarios the exposure estimates were, within the 90% uncertainty factor of 4.4, as reported for the original calibration study, which may indicate more uncertainty in the ART estimates in this industry. While the uncertainty was higher than expected this is likely due to the limited number of measurements per scenario, which were largely derived from single premises.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health