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Does industry take the susceptible subpopulation of asthmatic individuals into consideration when setting derived no-effect levels?
Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3799-4814
2016 (English)In: Journal of Applied Toxicology, ISSN 0260-437X, E-ISSN 1099-1263, Vol. 36, no 11, 1379-1391 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Asthma, a chronic respiratory disease, can be aggravated by exposure to certain chemical irritants. The objectives were first to investigate the extent to which experimental observations on asthmatic subjects are taken into consideration in connection with the registration process under the EU REACH regulation, and second, to determine whether asthmatics are provided adequate protection by the derived no-effect levels (DNELs) for acute inhalation exposure. We identified substances for which experimental data on the pulmonary functions of asthmatics exposed to chemicals under controlled conditions are available. The effect concentrations were then compared with DNELs and other guideline and limit values. As of April 2015, only 2.6% of 269 classified irritants had available experimental data on asthmatics. Fourteen of the 22 identified substances with available data were fully registered under REACH and we retrieved 114 reliable studies related to these. Sixty-three of these studies, involving nine of the 14 substances, were cited by the REACH registrants. However, only 17 of the 114 studies, involving four substances, were regarded as key studies. Furthermore, many of the DNELs for acute inhalation were higher than estimated effect levels for asthmatics, i.e., lowest observed adverse effect concentrations or no-observed adverse effect concentrations, indicating low or no safety margin. We conclude that REACH registrants tend to disregard findings on asthmatics when deriving these DNELs. In addition, we found examples of DNELs, particularly among those derived for workers, which likely do not provide adequate protection for asthmatics. Copyright (c) 2016 The Authors Journal of Applied Toxicology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. We investigate the extent to which experimental observations on asthmatic subjects are taken into consideration by REACH registrants and determine whether asthmatics are provided adequate protection by the acute inhalation Derived No-Effect Levels. Of 114 studies concerning 14 substances fulfilling our inclusion criteria, 63 studies, involving nine substances, were cited by the REACH registrants. However, only 17 of the 114 studies, involving four substances, were regarded as key studies. Furthermore, many of the Derived No-Effect Levels were higher than Lowest- or No-Observed Adverse Effect Concentrations values from these studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2016. Vol. 36, no 11, 1379-1391 p.
Keyword [en]
asthma, chemicals regulation, policy, risk assessment, guideline values, inhalation, REACH, SCOEL, EU
National Category
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-194456DOI: 10.1002/jat.3352ISI: 000384817900001PubMedID: 27283874ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84978381217OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-194456DiVA: diva2:1044216
Funder
Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, 44668/2012Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, 15523/2011Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2012-0294
Note

QC 20161102

Available from: 2016-11-02 Created: 2016-10-28 Last updated: 2016-11-03Bibliographically approved

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