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The traditional approach to industrial hygiene sampling involves the subjective evaluation of factors in the work environment such as the likelihood of exposures during certain job tasks, the frequency of such tasks, the toxicity of the chemicals encountered, and the type of sampling needed to adequately quantify the particular exposures of interest. This approach to sampling requires judgment based on past experience and is most effective when there is adequate communication between industrial hygienists, physicians, toxicologists, analytical chemists, safety engineers, and process engineers. Recently, sampling strategies have incorporated statistical methods to aid in data interpretation and the selection of sample size. However, reliance on a statistical approach alone will not suffice to determine optimum sampling strategies because the objectives of industrial hygiene programs will usually extend beyond compliance to exposure guidelines. A sampling strategy should be founded on the traditional approach, but incorporate statistical methods where applicable. This balanced approach to sampling design offers a better utilization of industrial hygiene resources while accomplishing the objectives of the total industrial hygiene program.
industrial hygiene, sampling, air quality, calibration, atmospheric measurements
Industrial Hygiene Laboratory, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI