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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 1993 Feb;25(1):48-63.

Confidence limits for hazardous concentrations based on logistically distributed NOEC toxicity data.

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  • 1National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection (RIVM), Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


This paper deals with the calculation of Hazardous Concentrations of toxic substances from small sets of laboratory toxicity data, e.g., NOECs. A procedure due to Van Straalen and Denneman, as adapted from Kooijman (case n = 1), in which one seeks a concentration that protects 95% of the biological species is modified to account for the uncertainty in the estimates. New constants are obtained by simulation. These allow the calculation of the one-sided 95% left confidence limit of the Hazardous Concentration, from the mean and standard deviation of a sample of (laboratory) toxicity data. This 95% confidence limit is always lower than the 95% certainty value calculated with the Kooijman (n = 1)/Van Straalen method. The authors also derive constants to calculate a one-sided 50% confidence value, that overpredicts as often as it underpredicts. This value may be used as a median guess of the Hazardous Concentration. It will always be higher than the 95% certainty value of the Kooijman (n = 1)/Van Straalen method. However, by using the 50% value, one runs the risk of protecting substantially less than 95% of the biological species.

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