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Evaluation of a Remote Exposure Monitoring Strategy for Use in Longitudinal Cohort Studies

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Abstract: The Federal Government is currently planning a large, prospective birth cohort study known as the National Children's Study that will potentially involve 100,000 children and their families. The observation period will start as close to conception as possible and will continue for 20 years after birth. Given the magnitude and expense of such a large study, sample collection methods which are amenable to acquisition of samples exclusively by the participants themselves followed by direct shipment to the analysis laboratory present a cost-wise alternative to technician-based sampling procedures. In this pilot study, we evaluated the ability of participants in three age cohorts to collect environmental and biological samples according to prescribed protocols. The cohorts consisted of parents and their children in the ages of 0-1 year, 3-5 years, and 6-8 years old. Biological and environmental samples included urine, breast milk/duplicate diet for the 0-1 cohort; urine, cotton sock dosimeters, hair, vacuum dust, and tap water for the 3-5 cohort; and saliva, dust wipe, volatile organic compounds, and humidity/temperature data for the 6-8 cohort. Sample collection instructions and materials were prepared, subjected to evaluation and modification using a test population, and shipped to participants over a 12-month period. Participants were requested to collect the samples, complete questionnaires, and return the samples to RTI within defined time periods. Upon receipt at RTI, the condition of the samples was assessed by visual inspection and the details of the receipt and evaluation were logged into a computer data base; queries were subsequently used to assess compliance. In some cases, chemical analysis was used to further evaluate sample integrity. As an example, of the possible breast milk samples collected from the 0-1 cohort, 89% were collected and 88% of these were acceptable (shipped cold, in sealed containers with the collection date recorded). Similarly, 88% of urine samples were collected and 87% of these were acceptable (shipped cold in the proper container with the collection date recorded). Compliance and results for this and the other cohorts will be presented.

This work has been funded wholly by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under contract number 68D-99-012. This abstract has been subjected to Agency review and approved for publication.
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Citation:Raymer, J., J. Rench, M. Spruill, L. Thalji, L. Michael, G. G. Akland, and R. Fortmann. Evaluation of a Remote Exposure Monitoring Strategy for Use in Longitudinal Cohort Studies. Presented at International Society of Exposure Analysis Conference (ISEA), Stresa, Italy, September 21-25, 2003.
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Contact: Liz Hope - (919) 541-2785 or hope.elizabeth@epa.gov
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Division: Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Division
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Branch: Exposure Measurements & Analysis Branch
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Product Type: Abstrct/Oral
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Presented: 09/23/2003
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Low Cost, Low Burden, Exposure Monitoring Strategies
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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