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Interpretation of biomonitoring results

Factors affecting the reliability and interpretation of biomonitoring data. Watch the video to learn more.

Biomonitoring results can be interpreted using descriptive or risk-based approaches, or by comparing them to pharmacokinetic modeling.

Descriptive approaches involve establishing a reference range and characterizing a chemical’s use pattern in society. Risk-based approaches involve evaluating the risk associated with a biomonitoring result and conducting a biomonitoring-based exposure assessment.

Comparing biomonitoring data to pharmacokinetic modeling can estimate the distribution of chemicals in the human body.

To compare reference ranges, populations must be comparable in age, race or ethnicity, sex, and other demographic factors, and analyzed for the same endpoint in the same tissues or fluids. Identifying characteristics and physiological factors causing high exposure and controlling exposure to some chemicals can be valuable in understanding high and low biomonitoring results.

Review questions:

  • What are the two approaches to interpreting biomonitoring results?
  • What is the purpose of establishing a reference range?
  • How can biomonitoring results be used in the workplace?
  • What factors should be considered when comparing reference ranges?
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