This paper describes how exposure to solvents at two large paint making sites was assessed in a study carried out to investigate the possibility of neuropsychological effects resulting from long term exposure to organic solvents. A job exposure matrix was constructed by buildings and year. A detailed plant history was taken and this was used to identify uniform exposure periods during which workers' exposure to solvents was not thought to have changed significantly. Exposure monitoring data, collected by the company before the study, was then used to characterise exposure within each uniform exposure period. Estimates were made for periods during which no air monitoring was available. Individual detailed job histories were collected for subjects and controls. The job histories were used to estimate exposure on an individual basis with the job exposure matrix. Exposure was expressed as duration, cumulative dose, and intensity of exposure. Classification of exposure by duration alone was found to result in misclassification of subjects.
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