Pooled biological specimens for human biomonitoring of environmental chemicals: Opportunities and limitations

Heffernan, Amy L., Aylward, Lesa L., Toms, Leisa-Maree L., Sly, Peter D., Macleod, Matthew and Mueller, Jochen F. (2014) Pooled biological specimens for human biomonitoring of environmental chemicals: Opportunities and limitations. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, 24 3: 225-232. doi:10.1038/jes.2013.76


Author Heffernan, Amy L.
Aylward, Lesa L.
Toms, Leisa-Maree L.
Sly, Peter D.
Macleod, Matthew
Mueller, Jochen F.
Title Pooled biological specimens for human biomonitoring of environmental chemicals: Opportunities and limitations
Journal name Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1053-4245
1559-0631
1559-064X
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1038/jes.2013.76
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 24
Issue 3
Start page 225
End page 232
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Language eng
Subject 2310 Pollution
2739 Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
3005 Toxicology
2713 Epidemiology
Abstract Biomonitoring has become the "gold standard" in assessing chemical exposures, and has an important role in risk assessment. The pooling of biological specimens - combining multiple individual specimens into a single sample - can be used in biomonitoring studies to monitor levels of exposure and identify exposure trends or to identify susceptible populations in a cost-effective manner. Pooled samples provide an estimate of central tendency and may also reveal information about variation within the population. The development of a pooling strategy requires careful consideration of the type and number of samples collected, the number of pools required and the number of specimens to combine per pool in order to maximise the type and robustness of the data. Creative pooling strategies can be used to explore exposure-outcome associations, and extrapolation from other larger studies can be useful in identifying elevated exposures in specific individuals. The use of pooled specimens is advantageous as it saves significantly on analytical costs, may reduce the time and resources required for recruitment and, in certain circumstances, allows quantification of samples approaching the limit of detection. In addition, the use of pooled samples can provide population estimates while avoiding ethical difficulties that may be associated with reporting individual results.
Keyword Biomonitoring
Epidemiology
Pooling
Population based studies
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
Queensland Children's Medical Research Institute Publications
School of Medicine Publications
National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology Publications
 
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