Society For Risk Analysis Annual Meeting 2017

Session Schedule & Abstracts

* Disclaimer: All presentations represent the views of the authors, and not the organizations that support their research. Please apply the standard disclaimer that any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations in abstracts, posters, and presentations at the meeting are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other organization or agency. Meeting attendees and authors should be aware that this disclaimer is intended to apply to all abstracts contained in this document. Authors who wish to emphasize this disclaimer should do so in their presentation or poster. In an effort to make the abstracts as concise as possible and easy for meeting participants to read, the abstracts have been formatted such that they exclude references to papers, affiliations, and/or funding sources. Authors who wish to provide attendees with this information should do so in their presentation or poster.

Common abbreviations

Symposium: From Sensors to Risk Decisions: How can we use Sensor and Personal Monitoring Data to Better Inform our Risk Assessment and Regulatory Decisions?

Room: Salon K   1:30 pm–3:10 pm

Chair(s): Sabine Lange

Sponsored by Exposure Assessment and Occupational Health and Safety Specialty Groups

The use of small, inexpensive sensors to detect pollutants is proliferating in many areas. Engaged citizens are now using smart phone apps and small personal monitors or sensors to measure noise, air pollutants, etc., and there are initiatives to measure chemicals in our blood and urine. The challenge for the risk assessment community is how we can use these data to assess and communicate risk. Challenges can come in the form of translating health effects known to occur following longer duration exposures to a short duration measurement (e.g., comparison of an 8-hour reference value to a 1-minute measured concentration); trying to compare or combine data from different studies that used different sensor technologies; using these measurements as surrogates for human exposures; and communicating the interpretation of (and the uncertainties in) the sensor measurements to communities and groups who are interested in using this information to assess their own risks. This session will specifically address the question of how sensor/personal monitoring data can (or cannot) be utilized for meaningful risk-based decisions. Topics will include the use of personal monitoring data of ambient pollutants to better understand pollution exposure; interpretation and communication of potential health risks from short-term air pollution data; gathering and presenting biomonitoring data to communities; and use of personal sensors in the occupational arena. Time at the end of the session will be devoted to a group discussion, which will also include guests from the Risk Communications, Occupational Health and Safety, and Exposure Assessment specialty groups.

M3-I.1  1:30 pm  Interpreting and Communicating Short-Term Sensor Data . Jenkins S*, Mannshardt E, Stone S, Keating M, Brown J, Long T; United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards

Abstract: Highly time-resolved (e.g., 1-minute) information on local concentrations of air pollutants, such as O3 and PM2.5, is increasingly available from portable pollution sensors. There is a need for guidance on the appropriate interpretation and communication of these data because the scientific evidence does not indicate health impacts following such short-term pollutant exposures. Using data from Village Green benches and from ambient monitors in other locations across the U.S., the EPA has developed pilot 1-minute sensor breakpoints and messages for O3 and PM2.5. These breakpoints and messages can provide the public with tools to aid understanding of local air quality. Goals of the pilot project are to guide the interpretation of sensor data and encourage this interpretation to be consistent with available health effects evidence and air quality information. Future efforts will incorporate lessons learned from the pilot and potentially expand the development of sensor breakpoints and messages to additional pollutants.

M3-I.2  1:50 pm  Understanding the Ambient - Personal PM2.5 Correlation: Integrating from Across Different Studies. Jones L*, Schaefer H, Lange S; Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Abstract: The federal Clean Air Act requires that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for certain widespread pollutants that can endanger public health. Particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) is arguably the most important of these pollutants because the projected health benefits (i.e., avoided or deferred premature mortality) of decreasing ambient levels have justified the cost of many environmental rules that have been finalized in the last decade, even those unrelated to the NAAQS. Despite the widespread claim that reductions in ambient PM2.5 would result in population-level health benefits, there is still considerable uncertainty in the amount of PM2.5 to which the public is realistically exposed. The appropriateness of using ambient PM2.5 concentrations as a surrogate for personal exposure in epidemiology studies that are often used as the basis of risk and benefit calculations is a significant concern worthy of an in-depth investigation. The TCEQ thus conducted a systematic review of studies that collected PM2.5 personal exposure data in the US or Europe. The review included an evaluation of the relationship between personal exposure to PM2.5 and ambient concentrations, and how various factors affect PM2.5 personal exposure. In these studies, we found considerable variability in the types of personal monitors, technical limitations, and monitoring scenarios. This variability made it difficult to compare the findings between studies and, therefore, to reach a consensus on the relationship between personal exposure to PM2.5 and ambient concentrations of PM2.5.

M3-I.3  2:10 pm  Direct Reading and Sensor Technologies: Opportunities to Advance Occupational Risk Management. Hoover MD*, Snawder JE; National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Abstract: The recent National Research Council report on Exposure Sciences for the 21st Century identified direct reading methods and monitors as being an important driver for the future of exposure sciences. SRA provides a robust forum to collaborate and address how these technologies can advance risk assessment and risk management decision-making, especially in occupational settings. Major questions include: Do these methods accurately measure what they are supposed to be measuring? How can they be adequately calibrated and validated? When are they limited to use for screening and when can they provide accurate characterizations of specific hazards? Given the large amounts of sensor data that may be collected, how can those data be feasibly analyzed and interpreted? To advance its capabilities and partnerships to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, control, and confirm effective development and application of new technologies to address relevant workplace hazards and exposures, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has established the NIOSH Center for Direct Reading and Sensor Technologies. The center serves as a home for NIOSH’s longstanding work in the area of exposure assessment devices—work that is done across the Institute to address occupational hazards of all types. Activities include 1) developing guidance documents pertinent to direct reading methods and sensors such as validation and performance characteristics, 2) developing training protocols, 3) establishing partnerships to collaborate in the Center’s activities, and 4) fostering a national research agenda for direct reading and sensor technologies. NIOSH sensor activity examples include the Personal Dust Monitor; Coal Dust Explosibility Meter; MethChek and MethAlert direct readout units; Portable Aerosol Mobility Spectrometer; smart phone Sound Level Meter application; Intelligent Proximity Detector; Portable Assessment System for Slips, Trips and Falls; and the Helmet Cam and Evade Software.

M3-I.4  2:30 pm  Pollution gets personal: Reporting personal exposure to environmental chemicals when health implications are uncertain. . Brody JG*, Boronow KE, Susmann H, Ohayon JL, Morello-Forsch RA, Brown P, Rudel RA; Silent Spring Institute (Brody, Boronow, Susmann, Ohayon, Rudel), Northeastern University (P Brown), University of California, Berkeley (Morello-Frosch)

Abstract: Ethical norms in medicine and research increasingly call for right-to-know as the default for sharing test results with individuals. In environmental health studies, sharing results often has particular benefits, because it enables people to take action to reduce exposures, based on their personal risk values. However, studies often involve chemicals – for example, many endocrine disrupting compounds – for which the health effects are uncertain. The Personal Exposure Report-Back Ethics (PERE) Study, supported by the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, interviewed participants, researchers, and IRB members in nine environmental health studies to learn about experiences and effective practices for returning results for chemicals that lack health guidelines. Results to date show that participants want to receive their results. They learn from reports about basic principles of environmental health as well as noting key findings from their own samples. Researchers found the process challenging, because interpreting results requires greater contextual understanding compared to medical results that have clear thresholds for safe or typical levels. To make environmental chemical reports more efficient and effective, we developed DERBI, the digital exposure report-back interface, as a framework for providing curated contextual information and using digital tools to personalize results reports in studies of any size. Reports can be disseminated on paper or online. In an experiment using DERBI in the Child Health and Development Studies cohort, participants spent twice as much time on personalized reports as they did on reports limited to aggregated data. To be effective, reports need to develop participants’ environmental health literacy, and personal data can engage participants in the learning process.

M3-I.5  2:50 pm  Panel Discussion.    

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