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Association of occupational and environmental clinics exposure code system and criteria for substances that cause work-related asthma
  1. Katherine H Kirkland1,
  2. Kenneth D Rosenman2
  1. 1Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  2. 2Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Katherine H Kirkland, Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, Washington, District of Columbia, USA; kkirkland{at}

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The Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC) is made up of more than 50 occupational and environmental member clinics, which although predominately in the USA includes clinics in other countries. AOEC has developed many educational and clinical resources since its beginning in 1988. Almost all of these resources are accessible by all practitioners.

In 1991, the AOEC developed a database system for use by AOEC clinics to help identify emerging occupational and environmental health concerns. This database included diagnostic and exposure data on occupational and environmental illnesses and injuries for patients seen in member clinics. The clinical information in the database is not available to all practitioners due to privacy concerns.

By 1993, AOEC recognised the need for a more standardised and flexible coding system for exposures in clinical settings. In 1995, an epidemiologist, and an industrial hygienist, developed an exposure classification (EC) system for use by clinicians that included not only chemicals but other hazards (Hunting, McDonald, 1995).1 The EC-List is not an official document of any governmental agency and is available without charge at . The EC-List is searchable, downloadable and an open source. Roughly half of the exposures have no Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number. Synonyms include common commercial names. Not all substances with CAS numbers are listed in the EC-List primarily since only substances that have been associated with adverse health effects by users of the …

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  • Contributors This letter was coauthored equally by KHK and KDR.

  • Funding National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (CDC Contract # 200-2011-41525, CDC Contract 200-2016-M-89154, CDC Contract 200-2018-M-00701, CDC Contract 200-2020-M-07950, R25 OH008593,U60-CCU317613). The following letter is submitted on behalf of the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC) which has sponsored the exposure codes since 1993. M Significant initial contributions recognised in the letter are Katherine Hunting, PhD, Susan McDonald, and William Beckett, MD, MPH. The Exposure Codes have been funded in part by numerous cooperative agreements and contracts with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and voluntary contributions by AOEC members.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.