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O46-4 Development of a quantitative job exposure matrix for endotoxin exposure in agriculture
  1. Ioannis Basinas1,2,
  2. Inge M Wouters3,
  3. Torben Sigsgaard1,
  4. Dick Heederik3,
  5. Suzanne Spaan4,
  6. Lidwien AM Smit3,
  7. Jakob H Bønløkke1,
  8. Wijnand Eduard5,
  9. Katja Radon6,
  10. Anne Straumfors5,
  11. Øyvind Omland7,
  12. Caroline Duchaine8,
  13. Dennis Nowak6,
  14. Vivi Schlünssen1,9,
  15. Hans Kromhout3
  1. 1Department of Public Health, Section for Environment, Occupation and Health, Danish Ramazzini Centre, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
  2. 2Institute of Occupational Medicine, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3Division of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  4. 4TNO, Department Risk Analysis for Products in Development (RAPID), Zeist, The Netherlands
  5. 5Department of Chemical and Biological Work Environment, National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo, Norway
  6. 6Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology and Net Teaching Unit, Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, University Hospital of Munich (LMU), Munich, Germany
  7. 7Department of Occupational Medicine, Danish Ramazzini Centre, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
  8. 8Institut Universitaire De Cardiologie Et De Pneumologie De Québec – Université Laval, Québec, Canada
  9. 9National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark


Objective To develop a quantitative job exposure matrix (JEM) for the assessment of endotoxin exposure among farmers and other agricultural industry workers.

Methods An exposure database containing 3,384 personal endotoxin measurements from Western European and Canadian workers employed in animal and crop production and related-industries with endotoxin exposure between 1992 and 2008 was established. Data were log-transformed and modelled with linear mixed effect models where job-titles, company (within job-titles) and worker (within company) identities were treated as random effects. Fixed effects were year and season of measurement, sampling duration and an exposure prior (none, low, high) for every job code (ISCO-68) from an existing JEM for general population studies.

Results The model results suggested overall levels of endotoxin exposure to decline annually by almost 2%. Season was a strong determinant of endotoxin exposure with measured concentrations being higher during the winter (β = 0.64; p < .0001) compared to the summer. Effects of sampling duration on the exposure were rather small. Predicted exposure levels were highest among wheat, vegetable, crop and poultry farmers and lowest among nursery garden workers, gardeners and horticulture farmers. Derived exposure estimates showed good agreement with endotoxin levels reported in the literature and not included in the database.

Perspectives The model predictions will be used to develop a quantitative JEM with a time axis for endotoxin exposure to be used in epidemiological studies among farmers and agricultural industry workers.

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