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Comparing the Advanced REACH Tool's (ART) estimates with Switzerland's occupational exposure data

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Author: Savic, N. · Gasic, B. · Schinkel, J. · Vernez, D.
Type:article
Date:2018
Source:Annals of Work Exposures and Health, 8, 61, 954-964
Identifier: 788259
doi: doi:0.1093/annweh/wxx069
Keywords: Advanced REACH Tool · Model performance and validation · Occupational exposure models · 50th percentiles · Confidence interval · European union · Exposure level · Exposure measurement · Model performance · Occupational exposure · REACH · Dust · Biomedical Innovation · Healthy Living · Life · RAPID - Risk Analysis for Products in Development · ELSS - Earth, Life and Social Sciences

Abstract

The Advanced REACH Tool (ART) is the most sophisticated tool used for evaluating exposure levels under the European Union's Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals (REACH) regulations. ART provides estimates at different percentiles of exposure and within different confidence intervals (CIs). However, its performance has only been tested on a limited number of exposure data. The present study compares ART's estimates with exposure measurements collected over many years in Switzerland. Measurements from 584 cases of exposure to vapours, mists, powders, and abrasive dusts (wood/stone and metal) were extracted from a Swiss database. The corresponding exposures at the 50th and 90th percentiles were calculated in ART. To characterize the model's performance, the 90% CI of the estimates was considered. ART's performance at the 50th percentile was only found to be insufficiently conservative with regard to exposure to wood/stone dusts, whereas the 90th percentile showed sufficient conservatism for all the types of exposure processed. However, a trend was observed with the residuals, where ART overestimated lower exposures and underestimated higher ones. The median was more precise, however, and the majority (≥60%) of real-world measurements were within a factor of 10 from ART's estimates. We provide recommendations based on the results and suggest further, more comprehensive, investigations. © The Author 2017.