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EXS. 2012;101:551-64. doi: 10.1007/978-3-7643-8340-4_19.

Hormesis: improving predictions in the low-dose zone.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA, edwardc@schoolph.umass.edu.


This chapter explores the historical foundations of hormesis, including the underlying reasons for its marginalization during most of the twentieth century and factors that are contributing to its resurgence and acceptance within the toxicological and pharmacological communities. Special consideration is given to the quantitative features of the hormetic dose response, as well as its capacity for generalization. Based on subsequent comparisons with other leading dose-response models, the hormesis dose response consistently provides more accurate predictions in the below threshold zone. It is expected that the hormetic dose response will become progressively more useful to the fields of toxicology, pharmacology, risk assessment, and the life sciences in general, especially where low-dose effects are of interest.

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