In a new study published online on February 11, 2015 in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health, researchers develop criteria for assessing the strength of non-monotonic dose-response (NMDR) relationships. NMDR describes a dose-response relationship where the slope of the dose-response curve changes direction within the range of tested doses. NMDR therefore challenges traditional toxicology, particularly the common saying of “the dose makes the poison”. Standardized approaches for investigating NMDR relationships in a risk assessment context are currently missing. Therefore, Lagarde and colleagues conducted a literature search and identified 51 experimental studies that report NMDR relationships with endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The authors then developed a stepwise decision tree to assess whether the observed NMDR profiles for EDCs are sufficiently reliable for use in risk assessments. Finally, they successfully applied the developed decision tree to a case study focused on bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) in vivo studies showing NMDR.

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Lagarde, F. et al. (2015). “Non-monotonic dose-response relationships and endocrine disruptors: a qualitative method of assessment.Environmental Health (open access, published online February 11, 2015).