Annals of work exposures and health 2021

Occupational Exposure Assessment Tools in Europe: A Comprehensive Inventory Overview.

Peters S, Vienneau D, Sampri A, Turner MC, Castaño-Vinyals G, Bugge M, Vermeulen R
The Network on the Coordination and Harmonisation of European Occupational Cohorts (OMEGA-NET) was set up to enable optimization of the use of industrial and general population cohorts across Europe to advance aetiological research. High-quality harmonized exposure assessment is crucial to derive comparable results and to enable pooled analyses. To facilitate a harmonized research strategy, a concerted effort is needed to catalogue available occupational exposure information. We here aim to provide a first comprehensive overview of exposure assessment tools that could be used for occupational epidemiological studies.An online inventory was set up to collect meta-data on exposure assessment tools. Occupational health researchers were invited via newsletters, editorials, and individual e-mails to provide details of job-exposure matrices (JEMs), exposure databases, and occupational coding systems and their associated crosswalks to translate codes between different systems, with a focus on Europe.Meta-data on 36 general population JEMs, 11 exposure databases, and 29 occupational coding systems from more than 10 countries have been collected up to August 2021. A wide variety of exposures were covered in the JEMs on which data were entered, with dusts and fibres (in 14 JEMs) being the most common types. Fewer JEMs covered organization of work (5) and biological factors (4). Dusts and fibres were also the most common exposures included in the databases (7 out of 11), followed by solvents and pesticides (both in 6 databases).This inventory forms the basis for a searchable web-based database of meta-data on existing occupational exposure information, to support researchers in finding the available tools for assessing occupational exposures in their cohorts, and future efforts for harmonization of exposure assessment. This inventory remains open for further additions, to enlarge its coverage and include newly developed tools.© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.