Occupational Exposure Limits: An Approach and Calculation Aid for Extended Work Schedule Adjustments
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Past reviews of occupational exposure limit (OEL) adjustments have covered both decision logic and calculation methods to derive factors to assure protection of workers on extended (also known as unusual) work shifts. The approaches reviewed included several Haber's rule based methods, several variants of single compartment toxicokinetic (TK) models, and physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling. These models calculate OEL adjustment factors based on the work shift and the uptake and elimination of the toxicant. A key parameter of the TK models is the biologic half-life of the toxicant, but reliable data for the half-life are not available for all substances of concern. A spreadsheet is presented that implements TK calculations, with one of the presented TK calculation alternatives not dependent on half-life data. This half-life data independent approach is suggested as a viable option for situations when the toxicant's half-life is unknown or uncertain.
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