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Introduction to Exposure Assessment and Biomonitoring

Explore fundamental steps of exposure assessment and the importance of biomonitoring in evaluating human exposure to chemicals.

This week, we will discuss exposure assessment-biomonitoring. Professor Chang recommends two textbooks related to the topic and introduces the concept of the human exposure assessment process. He explains the increasing awareness of chemical exposure in our daily lives and the variety of chemicals that we are exposed to through different paths and routes.

Exposure assessment is utilized to estimate the rates at which chemicals are absorbed by potential human receptors by determining the magnitude of actual and/or potential receptor exposures to chemical constituents, the frequency and duration of these exposures, and the pathways. There are three fundamental steps for exposure assessments, including characterizing the exposure setting, identifying significant exposure pathways, and quantifying exposure concentrations and intake variables.

Next, Prof Chang also introduces biomonitoring and some principles for the use of biological markers, as well as how to interpret the biomonitoring results.

Review questions:

  • What is biomonitoring and why is it important in exposure assessment?
  • What are some principles for the use of biological markers in biomonitoring?
  • How do we interpret biomonitoring results in exposure assessment?
  • Can you provide an example of how biomonitoring was used in a real-life exposure assessment incident, such as the tainted food scandal in Taiwan?
  • What are some of the potential benefits and limitations of using biomonitoring in exposure assessment?
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Sustainable Development in Health and Ecology

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