A database of exposures in the rubber manufacturing industry: Design and quality control

F De Vocht, K Straif, N Szeszenia-Dabrowska, Lars Hagmar, T Sorahan, I Burstyn, R Vermeulen, H Kromhout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (SciVal)


The concerted action EXASRUB was initiated to create a database management system for information on occupational hygiene measurements that could be used to develop exposure models in the European rubber manufacturing industry. Quality of coding was assessed by calculating percentages of agreement and Cohen's kappa statistics (kappa) for an intra- and inter-centre recoding of randomly selected subsets of the measurements. In a 6-month period, 59 609 measurements from 523 surveys in 333 factories from as early as 1956 to 2003 were coded. The database consists primarily of measurements of N-nitrosamines (36%), rubber dust (23%), solvents (14%) and rubber fumes (10%). Coding of epidemiologically relevant information was done consistently with inter-centre kappa between 0.86 and 1.00. For occupational hygiene information, values of kappa were estimated to be between 0.67 and 1.00. The proposed method resulted in a large quantity of exposure measurements with auxiliary information of varying completeness and quality. Analyses showed that coding of epidemiologically relevant information in such a multi-centre, multi-country study was coded consistently. Larger errors however, occurred in coding of occupational hygiene information. This was primarily caused by lack of information in the primary records of measurements, emphasizing the importance of having a universal system in place to collect and store measurement information by occupational hygienists for future use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-701
JournalAnnals of Occupational Hygiene
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health


  • exposure assessment
  • multi-centre study
  • manufacturing industry
  • rubber
  • database
  • data quality


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