Calibrating a population-based job-exposure matrix using inspection measurements to estimate historical occupational exposure to lead for a population-based cohort in Shanghai, China.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Journal of exposure science & environmental epidemiology, Volume 24, Issue 1, p.9-16 (2014)

Keywords:

2014, January 2014, Public Health Sciences Division

Abstract:

The epidemiologic evidence for the carcinogenicity of lead is inconsistent and requires improved exposure assessment to estimate risk. We evaluated historical occupational lead exposure for a population-based cohort of women (n=74,942) by calibrating a job-exposure matrix (JEM) with lead fume (n=20,084) and lead dust (n=5383) measurements collected over four decades in Shanghai, China. Using mixed-effect models, we calibrated intensity JEM ratings to the measurements using fixed-effects terms for year and JEM rating. We developed job/industry-specific estimates from the random-effects terms for job and industry. The model estimates were applied to subjects' jobs when the JEM probability rating was high for either job or industry; remaining jobs were considered unexposed. The models predicted that exposure increased monotonically with JEM intensity rating and decreased 20-50-fold over time. The cumulative calibrated JEM estimates and job/industry-specific estimates were highly correlated (Pearson correlation=0.79-0.84). Overall, 5% of the person-years and 8% of the women were exposed to lead fume; 2% of the person-years and 4% of the women were exposed to lead dust. The most common lead-exposed jobs were manufacturing electronic equipment. These historical lead estimates should enhance our ability to detect associations between lead exposure and cancer risk in the future epidemiologic analyses.