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On the quantification of intertest variability in ecotoxicity data with application to species sensitivity distributions.

Hickey, G.L. and Craig, P.S. and Luttik, R. and De Zwart, D. (2012) 'On the quantification of intertest variability in ecotoxicity data with application to species sensitivity distributions.', Environmental toxicology and chemistry., 31 (8). pp. 1903-1910.

Abstract

Ecotoxicological hazard assessment relies on species effect data to estimate quantities such as the predicted no-effect concentration. While there is a concerted effort to quantify uncertainty in risk assessments, the uncertainty due to intertest variability in species effect measurements is an overlooked component. The European Union Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) guidance document suggests that multiple toxicity records for a given chemical–species combination should be aggregated by the geometric mean. Ignoring this issue or applying unjustified so-called harmonization methods weakens the defensibility of uncertainty quantification and interpretation about properties of ecological models, for example, the predicted no-effect concentration. In the present study, the authors propose a simple and broadly theoretically justifiable model to quantify intertest variability and analyze it using Bayesian methods. The value of data in ecotoxicity databases is maximized by using (interval-)censored data. An exploratory analysis is provided to support the model. The authors conclude, based on a large ecotoxicity database of acute effects to aquatic species, that the standard deviation of intertest variability is approximately a factor (or fold-difference) of 3. The consequences for decision makers of (not) adjusting for intertest variability are demonstrated. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2012; 31: 1903–1910. © 2012 SETAC

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Intertest variability, REACH, species sensitivity distribution, toxicity data, Bayesian statistics
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.1891
Publisher statement:This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Hickey, G. L., Craig, P. S., Luttik, R. and de Zwart, D. (2012), On the quantification of intertest variability in ecotoxicity data with application to species sensitivity distributions. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 31 (8): 1903–1910, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.1891. 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:August 2012
Date first made open access:No date available

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