This presentation will introduce and describe the rationale for a new comprehensive study which aims to better understand the reliability of assessment of human exposure to pesticides in previous occupational epidemiological investigations, and to use this information to recommend improvements in scientific practice for the future. This is to be achieved by assessing the reliability and external validity of the surrogate measures used to assign exposure within individuals or groups of individuals, which are frequently based on self-reported data on exposure determinants like spraying methods and frequency of spraying or job/crop exposure matrices. In addition we will evaluate the size and effects of recall bias on misclassification of exposure to pesticides and associated health effects. The presentation will introduce the methodology that the project will use to achieve these aims and objectives. Existing and newly collected (biological) monitoring exposure data from several existing epidemiological studies and historical records, along with new studies in various working populations in Europe and elsewhere will be used to examine the performance of exposure assessment approaches. Urinary metabolites of pesticides will be selected with due consideration on the extent of use within the study populations, validity of biomonitoring methods etc. The performance of the various exposure assessment methods will be compared and contrasted within existing epidemiological studies. Discussion on the proposed methodology will be invited as part of the symposium panel and delegate discussion session.
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