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Exposure Sciences for Health Risk Assessment

East Baltimore
4th term
Environmental Health and Engineering
4 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Hybrid Asynchronous and Synchronous Online
Class Times:
  • Tu Th,  3:30 - 4:50pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Gurumurthy Ramachandran

180.609 Principles of Environmental Health or 180.601 Environmental Health or an equivalent introductory course in environmental health 182.613 Exposure Assessment Techniques for Health Risk Management


Prepares students to use techniques of exposure assessment in aid of epidemiological studies. Introduces students to core concepts including exposure variability and its implications for reconstructing historical exposures; sparse data and measurement errors; the exposure data matrix; methods for imputation of missing values; the relationship between exposure and tissue concentrations; the choice of exposure metric; and exposure-response relationships. Examines advanced techniques for imputing missing data while reconstructing exposures. Demonstrates the application of mathematical models of exposure using exposure determinant information and Bayesian methods. Considers exposure windows and exposure lagging. Focuses on using biologic models of how disease develops in response to exposure. Students critically evaluate exposure assessment strategies in selected epidemiological studies from the peer-reviewed literature.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the nature of exposure problems in reconstructing historical exposures in occupational and non-occupational settings
  2. Recognize the implications of sparse and missing data and the choice of the exposure metric on the resulting exposure-response relationship
  3. Design studies to estimate exposure for prospective and retrospective epidemiological studies and interpret data obtained from such studies
  4. Use statistical techniques, physical mathematical models, and Bayesian methods to quantify exposures while accounting for temporal and spatial dependence
  5. Articulate the relationship between exposures and biological outcomes, such as tissue concentrations from pharmacokinetic models
  6. Critically evaluate exposure assessment strategies in epidemiological studies and risk assessments
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 100% Assignments

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for some students

Consent Note:

Consent is required for students who have not taken the prerequisite

For consent, contact:

Special Comments:

Recommended textbooks: Smith, T.J., and Kriebel, D. A Biologic Approach to Environmental Assessment and Epidemiology, 2010. Ramachandran, G. Occupational Exposure Assessment for Air Contaminants. 2005. Elizabeth Matsui and Roger Peng. The Art of Data Science. 2016. Rappaport, S.M. and Kupper L.L. Quantitative Exposure Assessment. 2008