Collecting multiple and long-term samples is necessary to accurately describe the exposure profile of a similar exposure group (SEG), but only a few industries can afford to do this because of the costs and manpower needed. In the present study, measured oil mist concentrations (Cm, n = 11) were randomly collected on eleven days during one year (serving as the likelihood distribution in Bayesian decision analysis (BDA)), and daily fastener production rates (Pr, n = 250) were used as a surrogate for predicting the yearlong oil mist exposure concentrations (Cp) (serving as the prior distribution in BDA). The resulting BDA posterior distributions were used to assess the long-term oil mist exposures to threading workers in a fastener manufacturing industry. The feasibility of the proposed methodology was finally examined with reference to the effects of the sample size of the Cm. The results show that threading workers experienced more severe thoracic and respirable oil mist exposure than exposure to the inhalable fraction. Using Pr as a surrogate was adequate to explain ~92% of the variations in Cm. By combining Cp and Cm, our results suggest that the BDA technique adopted in this work was effective in predicting workers' long-term exposure. By judging the consistency of the resulting posterior exposure ratings, this study suggests that the proposed methodology could be feasible, even when the sample size of Cm is set as low as 3.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry