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0382 CANJEM: a general population job exposure matrix based on past expert assessments of exposure to over 250 agents
  1. Jerome Lavoue1,
  2. France Labrèche2,
  3. Lesley Richardson1,
  4. Mark Goldberg3,
  5. Marie-Élise Parent4,
  6. Jack Siemiatycki1,2
  1. 1University of Montreal Hospital Research Center (CRCHUM), Montreal, Canada
  2. 2University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada
  3. 3McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  4. 4INRS-Institut Armand Frappier, Montreal, Canada

Abstract

Objectives To create a general population job-exposure matrix (JEM) from a database of expert assessments performed during four community-based case-control studies of cancer (lung, breast, brain, and multisite) conducted in Montreal since the 1980s.

Method The expert assessments were performed by the same team of chemists, who assigned exposure to a predefined list of agents to each job held by subjects based on job histories and descriptions of tasks and work environment obtained through interview. The estimated metrics include measures of intensity, frequency and likelihood of exposure. The JEM dimensions include agent, occupation (Canadian, U.S., and international classifications) and era. For each cell, probability of exposure was computed as the proportion of individual jobs exposed. Among the exposed within a cell, CANJEM provides median frequency of exposure, the mode of exposure intensity categories and median time weighted intensity.

Results CANJEM includes information from 6222 men and 2563 women, totalling 31 780 individual jobs held between 1921 and 2005, representing approximately 50 expert-years of exposure assessment. Well known agents among the most frequently encountered include carbon monoxide (22% of individual jobs exposed), organic solvents (17.5%), and formaldehyde (10.6%). The JEM covers 303 occupations, 280 agents, and 4 eras (<1950, 1950–1969, 1970–1984, >1984). Overall, 20% of the cells have a non-null proportion of jobs exposed, 12% with a proportion greater than 5%.

Conclusions CANJEM constitutes one of the largest current sources of retrospective occupational exposure information in North America, useable to support exposure assessment efforts in epidemiology and estimate populations of workers exposed to harmful agents.

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