Document Detail

Use of uncertainty factors by the SCOEL in their derivation of health-based occupational exposure limits.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20860525     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The aim of this study was to investigate how the Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL) of the European Commission uses uncertainty factors when proposing health-based indicative occupational exposure limit values (IOELVs). In total, 75 IOELVs in 62 summary documents published from 1991 to 2003 were analyzed. For 31 of the IOELVs, no explicit uncertainty factor (EUF) was stated. For these, we calculated an implicit safety margin (ISM) as the ratio between the point of departure (POD, derived from the NOAEL or LOAEL of the critical effect) and the proposed IOELV. We further analysed whether date of recommendation, type of critical effect, nature of POD or amount of available data influenced the magnitude of the EUFs and ISMs. The ISMs varied little (range 1-5), while the EUFs showed more variability (range 1-50). The EUFs remained unaffected over time and the ISMs decreased slightly. Significant differences in the magnitude of the EUFs, but not ISMs, were found between critical effects, however, contrary to expected the average EUFs and ISMs for irritation were similar to those for more severe systemic effects. The nature of the POD affected the ISMs and EUFs only slightly and less than expected. Both EUFs and ISMs showed a weak but significant negative correlation with the amount of available toxicological data, measured as the number of relevant publications in PubMed, whereas SCOEL statements on data sufficiency had no influence. Overall, the most striking difference was that between EUFs and ISMs, the former being on average 2.1 times higher.
Linda Schenk; Gunnar Johanson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Critical reviews in toxicology     Volume:  40     ISSN:  1547-6898     ISO Abbreviation:  Crit. Rev. Toxicol.     Publication Date:  2010 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-09-23     Completed Date:  2010-12-28     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8914275     Medline TA:  Crit Rev Toxicol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  791-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Division of Philosophy, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Environmental Monitoring
No-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level
Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
Occupational Health*
Risk Assessment
Threshold Limit Values

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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