The View-Master Health Study Focus Groups

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Trichloroethylene (TCE), a common groundwater contaminant, was found at high levels at an Oregon work site in 1998. According to a recent report released by the National Research Council, “the evidence on carcinogenic risk and other health hazards from exposure to trichloroethylene has strengthened since 2001.” A convenience sample of thirteen former workers from the Oregon work site was recruited for a series of focus groups. Information obtained on plant processes, safety procedures, attitudes regarding medical record access, and opinions about proxy accuracy was subjected to qualitative content analysis. Workers recalled few safety policies and no training or support for control of safety. Most thought co-workers and family members would be the best source of proxy exposure information and favored granting access to medical records. Job-role mobility confirmed the importance of using a job or task exposure matrix. Information obtained will be used in development of an exposure assessment interview tool.

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