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Toxicol Sci. 2005 Aug;86(2):226-30. Epub 2005 Apr 13.

The threshold of toxicological concern concept in risk assessment.

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  • 1Utrecht University, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, NL-3508 TD Utrecht, The Netherlands.


The concept that "safe levels of exposure" for humans can be identified for individual chemicals is central to the risk assessment of compounds with known toxicological profiles. The Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) is a concept that refers to the establishment of a level of exposure for all chemicals, whether or not there are chemical-specific toxicity data, below which there would be no appreciable risk to human health. The concept proposes that a low level of exposure with a negligible risk can be identified for many chemicals, including those of unknown toxicity, based on knowledge of their chemical structures. The present paper aims to describe the history of the TTC principle, its use to date, its potential future applications and the incorporation of the TTC principle in the Risk Assessment paradigm.

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