chapter  1
12 Pages

Framework for Occupational Exposure Assessment

The occupational environment can be a source of significant risks to health due to a variety of potentially harmful agents workers can come in contact with. The role of the occupational hygienist is, therefore, to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, and control these health hazards. This concept is widely accepted as the paradigm of occupational hygiene. Although measurements of the contaminant concentrations play a crucial role in every component of this paradigm, this book primarily deals with the evaluation of health hazards through measurement of the exposure of workers to these hazards. Additionally, while a worker may be exposed to harmful agents through various routes — inhalation, ingestion, or dermal contact — this book focuses on the inhalation route. The respiratory tract offers the greatest amount of contact between the human body and the environment, and a vast majority of existing occupational health standards are based on this exposure route.