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Pooled biological specimens for human biomonitoring of environmental chemicals: Opportunities and limitations
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2014 (English)In: Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, ISSN 1559-0631, E-ISSN 1559-064x, Vol. 24, 225-232 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 24, 225-232 p.
Keyword [en]
biomonitoring, epidemiology, population based studies, pooling
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Research subject
Environmental Chemistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97935DOI: 10.1038/jes.2013.76ISI: 000334571000001OAI: diva2:681421
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, INTERFLAME, 295138
Available from: 2013-12-19 Created: 2013-12-19 Last updated: 2014-05-26Bibliographically approved

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MacLeod, Matthew
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Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM)
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