Document Detail

Dealing with uncertainty in formulating occupational and public exposure limits.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12199554     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Scientists are forced to address many sources of uncertainty in the setting of exposure limits. This paper discusses the rationale for some of the approaches that have been used for many years to address uncertainties encountered in the setting of occupational and public exposure limits to protect against non-cancer effects of chemicals. These approaches are quite different from the methodology that has been adopted for the setting of exposure limits to power-frequency electric and magnetic fields to avoid adverse effects of induced electric fields and currents. The limitations of the non-standard electric and magnetic fields guideline methodology are described. To address these limitations, a probabilistic approach to developing exposure limits for electric and magnetic fields has been proposed. As a demonstration, this approach has been applied to the estimation of magnetic field exposures that would not pose significant risks of cardiac stimulation from electric fields induced in the torso. The results of this probabilistic analysis demonstrate the importance of explicitly characterizing potential sources of uncertainty and variability. Furthermore, the use of fixed, single point estimates of dosimetric parameters by electric and magnetic fields guideline-setting organizations provides more than adequate protection to individuals from the risk of cardiac stimulation. The mean magnetic field level that would increase the risk of cardiac stimulation is shown by this approach to be about three times higher than is predicted by dosimetric formulas used by the ACGIH and ICNIRP. If input data for parameters affecting the risk of adverse effects with lower thresholds, i.e., nerve stimulation, are developed and validated, this method could be used in the setting of electric and magnetic fields standards based more strongly on quantitative assessments of experimental data.
W H Bailey
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Health physics     Volume:  83     ISSN:  0017-9078     ISO Abbreviation:  Health Phys     Publication Date:  2002 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-08-29     Completed Date:  2002-09-25     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985093R     Medline TA:  Health Phys     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  402-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Exponent, New York, NY 10170, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
Environmental Exposure / standards*
Occupational Exposure / standards*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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