Evaluation of the well mixed room and near-field far-field models in occupational settings

Susan F. Arnold, Yuan Shao, Gurumurthy Ramachandran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Drawing appropriate conclusions about a scenario for which the exposure is truly unacceptable drives appropriate exposure and risk management, and protects the health and safety of those individuals. To ensure the vast majority of these decisions are accurate, these decisions must be based upon proven approaches and tools. When these decisions are based solely on professional judgment guided by subjective inputs, however, they are more than likely wrong, and biased, underestimating the true exposure. Models have been shown anecdotally to be useful in accurately predicting exposure but their use in occupational hygiene has been limited. Possible reasons are a general lack of guidance on model selection and use and scant model input data. The lack of systematic evaluation of the models is also an important factor. This research is the second phase of work building upon the robust evaluation of the Well Mixed Room (WMR) and Near Field Far Field (NF-FF) models under controlled conditions in an exposure chamber, [5] in which good concordance between measured and modeled airborne concentrations of three solvents under a range of conditions was observed. In real world environments, the opportunity to control environmental conditions is limited and measuring the model inputs directly can be challenging; in many cases, model inputs must be estimated indirectly without measurement. These circumstances contribute to increased model input uncertainty and consequent uncertainty in the output. Field studies of model performance directly inform us about how well models predict exposures given these practical limitations, and are, therefore, an important component of model evaluation. The evaluation included ten diverse contaminant-exposure scenarios at five workplaces involving six different contaminants. A database of parameter values and measured and modeled exposures was developed and will be useful for modeling similar scenarios in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)694-702
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Volume14
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

Keywords

  • Field study
  • model evaluation
  • models
  • Near Field Far Field
  • Well Mixed Room

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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