Article Text


MS SYNERGY collaboration – occupational factors in lung cancer
Modelling of occupational respirable quartz exposure for quantitative exposure assessment in multinational community-based case-control studies
  1. Susan Peters1,
  2. Roel Vermeulen1,
  3. Lutzen Portengen1,
  4. Ann Olsson2,
  5. Benjamin Kendzia3,
  6. Raymond Vincent4,
  7. Barbara Savary4,
  8. Nick Williams5,
  9. Torill Woldbaek6,
  10. Jérôme Lavoué7,
  11. Domenico Cavallo8,
  12. Andrea Cattaneo9,
  13. Dario Mirabelli10,
  14. Nils Plato12,
  15. Dirk Dahmann11,
  16. Joelle Fevotte13,
  17. Beate Pesch3,
  18. Thomas Brüning3,
  19. Kurt Straif2,
  20. Hans Kromhout1
  1. 1Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  2. 2IARC, Lyon, France
  3. 3IPA, Bochum, Germany
  4. 4INRS, Nancy, France
  5. 5HSE, Bootle, UK
  6. 6NIOH, Oslo, Norway
  7. 7University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada
  8. 8Università degli Studi dell'Insubria, Como, Italy
  9. 9Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
  10. 10University of Turin, Turin, Italy
  11. 11IGF-BG, Bochum, Germany
  12. 12Karolinska Intitutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  13. 13InVS, St Maurice, France


Objectives Quantitative exposure assessment in a multinational pooled-analysis of community-based lung cancer case-control studies can be reached via exposure modelling of occupational exposure measurements. We describe a modelling framework for respirable quartz exposure to create a quantitative job-exposure matrix (JEM).

Methods Personal measurements of respirable quartz exposure from Europe and Canada were obtained for exposure modelling. A mixed-effects model was used, with region and job titles (ISCO 1968 coding) as random-effect terms. The fixed-effect terms included time period (years), measurement strategy (representative or worst-case), sampler device (categorical), sampling duration (minutes) and a-priori intensity expert ratings for each job from an independently developed JEM (ordinal 0–2).

Results 30 393 respirable quartz exposure measurements covering the time period from 1976 to 2009 were used for modelling, showing an overall time trend of -7% per year. An effect of region was found with higher exposures in Canada and the UK and lower exposure levels in Northern and Southern Europe. The other fixed-effect variables influenced exposures in line with a-priori expectation, for example, estimates for worst-case scenarios were higher than for representative situations, samplers with PUF foam under sampled respirable quartz as compared to sampling with filters, and sampling duration was negatively associated with exposure level.

Conclusions The modelling exercise showed that quantitative data can be used to derive a quantitative JEM. The presented model will allow us to predict time, job, and region specific exposure levels of respirable quartz. These predictions will be used in the SYNERGY study, an ongoing international pooled community-based case-control study on lung cancer.

Statistics from

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.