Recent rapid technological advances are producing exposure data sets for which there are no available data quality assessment tools. At the same time, regulatory agencies are moving in the direction of data quality assessment for environmental risk assessment and decision-making. A transparent and systematic approach to evaluating exposure data will aid in those efforts. Any approach to assessing data quality must consider the level of quality needed for the ultimate use of the data. While various fields have developed approaches to assess data quality, there is as yet no general, user-friendly approach to assess both measured and modeled data in the context of a fit-for-purpose risk assessment. Here we describe ExpoQual, an instrument developed for this purpose which applies recognized parameters and exposure data quality elements from existing approaches for assessing exposure data quality. Broad data streams such as quantitative measured and modeled human exposure data as well as newer and developing approaches can be evaluated. The key strength of ExpoQual is that it facilitates a structured, reproducible and transparent approach to exposure data quality evaluation and provides for an explicit fit-for-purpose determination. ExpoQual was designed to minimize subjectivity and to include transparency in aspects based on professional judgment. ExpoQual is freely available on-line for testing and user feedback (exposurequality.com).
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