Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: November 27, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412953948 | Print ISBN: 9781412928168 | Online ISBN: 9781412953948| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
Michael A. Kelsh & Dominik D. Alexander
Environmental and occupational epidemiology are subdisciplines of epidemiology and use the same standard epidemiologic research approaches, study designs, and analytical methods in estimating disease occurrence, relative risk, and statistical variability. These two disciplines focus on studying the effects on human health attributable to chemical, particulate, metallic, physical, infectious, and psychosocial agents in the workplace and general environment. Occupational and environmental epidemiology involves a wide variety of methodological techniques that are used to evaluate associations between workplace or community exposures and health outcomes. This entry reviews the study designs used in occupational and environmental research and also examines sources of bias in such studies. Occupational and environmental epidemiology are closely linked by the nature of the many common exposures of concern. Epidemiologic studies in these fields often consider other factors such as genetics, nutrition, and behavioral patterns, although in the context of their confounding influence on the workplace or environmental-exposure/outcome relationship ...