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Important issues related to using pooled samples for environmental chemical biomonitoring

Authors

  • Samuel P. Caudill

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 4770 Buford Highway NE, MS-F25, Atlanta, GA 30333, U.S.A.
    • Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 4770 Buford Highway NE, MS-F25, Atlanta, GA 30341, U.S.A.
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  • This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the U.S.A.

Abstract

Pooling samples for analysis was first proposed in the 1940s to reduce analytical measurement costs associated with screening World War II recruits for syphilis. Later, it progressed to more complex screening strategies, to population prevalence estimation for discrete quantities, and to population mean estimation for continuous quantities. Recently, pooled samples have also been used to provide efficient alternatives for gene microarray analyses, epidemiologic studies of biomarkers of exposure, and characterization of populations regarding environmental chemical exposures. In this study, we address estimation and bias issues related to using pooled-sample variance information from an auxiliary source to augment pooled-sample variance estimates from the study of interest. The findings are illustrated by using pooled samples from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001–2002 to assess exposures to perfluorooctanesulfonate and other polyfluoroalkyl compounds in the U.S. population. Published in 2011 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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