Epidemiologic approaches for assessing health risks from complex mixtures in indoor air

J. M. Samet, W. E. Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Indoor air may be contaminated by diverse gaseous and particulate pollutants that may adversely affect health. As a basis for controlling adverse health effects of indoor air pollution, the presence of a hazard needs to be confirmed, and the quantitative relationship between exposure and response needs to be described. Toxicological, clinical, and epidemiological studies represent complementary approaches for obtaining the requisite evidence. The assessment of the effects of complex mixtures poses a difficult challenge for epidemiologists. Understanding the effects of exposure may require accurate assessment of concentrations and personal exposures to multiple agents and analytical approaches that can identify independent effects of single agents and the synergistic or antagonistic effects that may occur in mixtures. The array of epidemiological study designs for this task includes descriptive studies, cohort studies, and case-control studies, each having potential advantages and disadvantages for studying complex mixtures. This presentation considers issues related to exposure assessment and study design for addressing the effects of complex mixtures in indoor air.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-74
Number of pages4
JournalEnvironmental health perspectives
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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