“Using Environmental Forensic Microscopy in Exposure Science”

2008:141:Millette, Brown, Hill

Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology 18, 20-30 (January 2008) | doi:10.1038/sj.jes.7500613

Abstract:

Environmental forensic microscopy investigations are based on the methods and procedures developed in the fields of criminal forensics, industrial hygiene and environmental monitoring. Using a variety of microscopes and techniques, the environmental forensic scientist attempts to reconstruct the sources and the extent of exposure based on the physical evidence left behind after particles are exchanged between an individual and the environments he or she passes through.

This article describes how environmental forensic microscopy uses procedures developed for environmental monitoring, criminal forensics and industrial hygiene investigations. It provides key references to the interdisciplinary approach used in microscopic investigations. Case studies dealing with lead, asbestos, glass fibers and other particulate contaminants are used to illustrate how environmental forensic microscopy can be very useful in the initial stages of a variety of environmental exposure characterization efforts to eliminate some agents of concern and to narrow the field of possible sources of exposure.


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