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Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2011 Apr 2. [Epub ahead of print]

Risk assessment of combined exposure to multiple chemicals: A WHO/IPCS framework.

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McLaughlin Centre, Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


This paper describes a framework for the risk assessment of combined exposure to multiple chemicals based on and developed subsequent to the World Health Organization/International Programme on Chemical Safety Workshop on Aggregate/Cumulative Risk Assessment (Combined Exposures to Multiple Chemicals) held in 2007. The framework is designed to aid risk assessors in identifying priorities for risk management for a wide range of applications where co-exposures to multiple chemicals are expected. It is based on a hierarchical (phased) approach that involves integrated and iterative consideration of exposure and hazard at all phases, with each tier being more refined (i.e., less cautious and more certain) than the previous one, but more labor and data intensive. It includes reference to predictive and probabilistic methodology in various tiers in addition to tiered consideration of uncertainty. The paper also annexes two case studies that have been developed to test and refine the framework.

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