Dose-response relationships (DRR) for chemical substances

Status: Ongoing


IFA, Frank Bochmann,



Target groups:

Researchers, stakeholders and professionals in OSH

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Quantifying the risk of occupational factors such as chemical substances is essential to protect human health at workplaces. Hence, the use of the best methodology for risk assessment and derivation of dose-response relationships (DRR) is a scientific challenge. There is much experience in risk assessment among OSH-professionals. Joint research by PEROSH institutes offers a great chance to share know-how, resources and money.

The DRR project aims to collaborate on the derivation of dose-response relationships for relevant chemical substances in OSH. Knowledge transfer on risk assessment methodologies will improve the derivation of DRR’s and will be applied to a series of new chemical substances chosen by the project members.

All PEROSH institutions can make suggestions for specific, relevant chemical substances for DRR derivation, the collaboration for each substance is optional.

The DRR working group develops a consensus method paper on the derivation of scientific based dose-response relationships (DRR) for chemicals. The members of the working group want to bring together expert knowledge and want to offer recommendations for a systematic approach for this derivation.
The systematic identification and evaluation of toxicological and epidemiological studies are essential steps for this approach. So it can be very helpful to have a list of important sources and databases for identifying studies. Additionally, checking sources for finding existing risk assessment documents or scientific criteria documents for specific chemicals can provide useful information and safe time.

The following lists are draft collections on relevant sources for searching studies and criteria documents on DRR’s. A further list is about literature on DRR methodology.

SCOEL und RAC (EU login needed)
Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limit Values

Chemical Safety Information from Intergovernmental Organizations

The Global Portal to Information on Chemical Substances

GESTIS (Germany)
GESTIS – Scientific criteria documents

European Chemicals Agency

MAK (Germany)
Documents of the MAK Commission

BAuA DRR (Germany)
Documents in English
BAuA DRR (Germany)
Documents in German

DECOS (Netherlands)
Health Council of the Netherlands

Toxicology Data Network. See IRIS and ITER

US Environmental Protection Agency. Integrated Risk Information System

NIOSH Publications
NIOSH Criteria Documents
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

US National Toxicology Program: Reports on Carcinogens (RoC)

European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals

Concise International Chemical Assessment Document

Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances

US Medical literaturs database

ECETOC Technical Report No. 104: Framework for the Integration of Human and Animal Data in Chemical Risk Assessment. Brussels 2009

Klimisch HJ, Andreae M, Tillmann U. 1997. A systematic approach for evaluating the quality of experimental toxicological and ecotoxicological data. Regulat Toxicol Pharmacol 25:1-5.

ECHA (2012). Guidance on information requirements and chemical safety assessment. Chapter R.8: Characterisation of dose [concentration]-response for human health. Version 2.1, November 2012. European Chemicals Agency, Helsinki.

EFSA 2017. Guidance: Update: use of the benchmark dose approach in risk assessment. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). EFSA Journal 2017; 15(1):4658.

Lavelle KS, Robert Schnatter A, Travis KZ, Swaen GM, Pallapies D, Money C, Priem P, Vrijhof H. Framework for integrating human and animal data in chemical risk assessment. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2012 Mar;62(2):302-12.

Money CD, Tomenson JA, Penman MG, Boogaard PJ, Jeffrey Lewis R. A systematic approach for evaluating and scoring human data. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2013 Jul;66(2):241-7.

Pronk M.E.J.: Overview of methodologies for the derivation of Occupational Exposure Limits for non-threshold carcinogens in the EU. RIVM Letter report 2014-0153. National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. The Netherlands 2014

SCOEL (2013): Methodology for the Derivation of Occupational Exposure Limits. Key Documentation (version 7) June 2013. Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL)

SCOEL (2017): Methodology for derivation of occupational exposure limits of chemical agents

Whaley P, Halsall C, Ågerstrand M, Aiassa E, Benford D, Bilotta G, Coggon D, Collins C, Dempsey C, Duarte-Davidson R, FitzGerald R, Galay-Burgos M, Gee D, Hoffmann S, Lam J, Lasserson T, Levy L, Lipworth S, Ross SM, Martin O, Meads C, Meyer-Baron M, Miller J, Pease C, Rooney A, Sapiets A, Stewart G, Taylor D. Implementing systematic review techniques in chemical risk assessment: Challenges, opportunities and recommendations. Environ Int. 2015 Dec 10. pii: S0160-4120(15)30086-6.

AFSSET (2010). Méthode de construction de valeurs toxicologiques de référence (VTR) pour les substances chimiques cancérogènes. Rapport d’expertise collective. Saisine n°2004/AS16. Mars 2010. Agence française de sécurité sanitaire de l’environnement et du travail, Maisons-Alfort Cedex

INRS (2016). Valeurs limites d´exposition pour la prevention des risques chimiques

Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA). TRGS 910 “Risk-related concept of measures for activities involving carcinogenic hazardous substances”

Health Council (2012). Guideline for the calculation of risk values for carcinogenic compounds. Publication no. 2012/16E, October 2012. Health Council of the Netherlands, The Hague

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