A detailed guide to the biological monitoring of occupational exposures to selected metals, solvents, pesticides, and other chemicals. Addressed to occupational health professionals and the managers of analytical laboratories, the book aims to promote the use of biological monitoring as an integral part of efforts to safeguard occupational health and safety. To this end, chapters draw on the latest scientific knowledge to identify recommended biomarkers of exposure and provide technical advice on the best methods of sampling and analysis. Recommended principles and methods reflect the consensus reached by a large number of experts.
The book opens with a discussion of basic principles governing the use of biological monitoring to obtain reliable data on exposure levels and the related risks to health. Topics covered include the concept of internal dose, three main approaches to monitoring, the types of data required, and the unique value of biological monitoring when used in conjunction with ambient monitoring. Advice on methodological procedures is provided for the implementation of sampling, analytical methods, and the interpretation of results. The importance of quality assurance is addressed in the second chapter, which gives particular attention to common sources of error in the selection, collection, storage, and transport of specimens, during the analysis of samples, and in the recording, reporting, and interpretation of results. Sources of certified reference materials for use in analytical laboratories are presented in a table.
Against this background, the main part of the book provides guidelines for the biological monitoring of exposure to four metals, eight solvents, the organophosphorus pesticides, and carbon monoxide and fluorides. Individual chemicals were selected on the basis of criteria pertaining to their frequency of use, toxicity, routes of absorption, knowledge about human metabolism, relationship between exposure and established biomarkers, and the existence of Occupational Biological Reference Values.
Guidelines for each chemical follow a common framework. The chemical is first introduced in terms of its physical and chemical properties, possible occupational and non-occupational exposures, data on toxicokinetics and toxic effects, and a comparison of currently available biological indicators of exposure. Recommended biomarkers are then discussed in terms of suggested methods of sampling and analysis, and guidelines for the interpretation of test results. The book concludes with a tabular presentation of monitoring methods and biological limit values, as proposed by three different agencies, for some 60 commonly used industrial chemicals.
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