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Toxicol Sci. 2005 Jul;86(1):20-6. Epub 2005 Mar 30.

The refinement of uncertainty/safety factors in risk assessment by the incorporation of data on toxicokinetic variability in humans.

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1
Division of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, Institute of Human Nutrition, Clinical Pharmacology Group, School of Medicine, University of Southampton, Bassett Crescent East, Southampton, UK. jeanloudorne@hotmail.com

Abstract

The derivation of safe levels of exposure in humans for compounds that are assumed to cause threshold toxicity has relied on the application of a 100-fold uncertainty factor to a measure for the threshold, such as the no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) or the benchmark dose (BMD). This 100-fold safety factor consists of the product of two 10-fold factors allowing for human variability and interspecies differences. The International Programme on Chemical Safety has suggested the subdivision of these 10-fold factors to allow for variability in toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics. This subdivision allows the replacement of the default uncertainty factors with a chemical-specific adjustment factor (CSAF) when suitable data are available. This short review describes potential options to refine safety factors used in risk assessment, with particular emphasis on pathway-related uncertainty factors associated with variability in kinetics. These pathway-related factors were derived from a database that quantified interspecies differences and human variability in phase I metabolism, phase II metabolism, and renal excretion. This approach allows metabolism and pharmacokinetic data in healthy adults and subgroups of the population to be incorporated in the risk-assessment process and constitutes an intermediate approach between simple default factors and chemical-specific adjustment factors.

PMID:
15800035
DOI:
10.1093/toxsci/kfi160
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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