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Species non-exchangeability in probabilistic ecotoxicological risk assessment.

Craig, Peter S. and Hickey, Graeme L. and Luttik, Robert and Hart, Andy (2012) 'Species non-exchangeability in probabilistic ecotoxicological risk assessment.', Journal of the Royal Statistical series A : statistics in society., 175 (1). pp. 243-262.


Current ecotoxicological risk assessment for chemical substances is based on the assumption that tolerances of all species in a specified ecological community are a priori exchangeable for each new substance. We demonstrate non-exchangeability by using a large database of tolerances to pesticides for fish species and extend the standard statistical model for species tolerances to allow for the presence of a single species which is considered non-exchangeable with others. We show how to estimate parameters and adjust decision rules that are used in ecotoxicological risk management. Effects of parameter uncertainty are explored and our model is compared with a previously published less tractable alternative. We conclude that the model and decision rules that we propose are pragmatic compromises between conflicting needs for more realistic modelling and for straightforwardly applicable decision rules.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Assessment factors, ecotoxicology, exchangeability, risk assessment, species sensitivity
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Craig, P. S., Hickey, G. L., Luttik, R. and Hart, A. (2012), Species non-exchangeability in probabilistic ecotoxicological risk assessment. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 175 (1): 243–262, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:06 September 2013
Date of first online publication:January 2012
Date first made open access:No date available

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