Assessing and Managing Risks Arising from Exposure to Endocrine-Active Chemicals
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Managing risks to human health and the environment produced by endocrine-active chemicals (EAC) is dependent on sound principles of risk assessment and risk management, which need to be adapted to address the uncertainties in the state of the science of EAC. Quantifying EAC hazard identification, mechanisms of action, and dose-response curves is complicated by a range of chemical structure/toxicology classes, receptors and receptor subtypes, and nonlinear dose-response curves with low-dose effects. Advances in risk science including toxicogenomics and quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) along with a return to the biological process of hormesis are proposed to complement existing risk assessment strategies, including that of the Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing Advisory Committee (EDSTAC 1998). EAC represents a policy issue that has captured the public's fears and concerns about environmental health. This overview describes the process of EAC risk assessment and risk management in the context of traditional risk management frameworks, with emphasis on the National Research Council Framework (1983), taking into consideration the strategies for EAC management in Canada, the United States, and the European Union.
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