Using exposure bands for rapid decision making in the RISK21 tiered exposure assessment

The ILSI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) Risk Assessment in the Twenty-first Century (RISK21) project was initiated to address and catalyze improvements in human health risk assessment. RISK21 is a problem formulation-based conceptual roadmap and risk matrix visualization tool, facilitating transparent evaluation of both hazard and exposure components. The RISK21 roadmap is exposure-driven, that is, exposure is used as the second step (after problem formulation) to define and focus the assessment. This paper describes the exposure tiers of the RISK21 matrix and the approaches to adapt readily available information to more quickly inform exposure at a screening level. In particular, exposure look-up tables were developed from available exposure tools (European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC) Targeted Risk Assessment (TRA) for worker exposure, ECETOC TRA, European Solvents Industry Group (ESIG) Generic Exposure Scenario (GES) Risk and Exposure Tool (EGRET) for consumer exposure, and USEtox® for indirect exposure to humans via the environment) and were tested in a hypothetical mosquito bed netting case study. A detailed WHO risk assessment for a similar mosquito net use served as a benchmark for the performance of the RISK21 approach. The case study demonstrated that the screening methodologies provided suitable conservative exposure estimates for risk assessment. The results of this effort showed that the RISK21 approach is useful for defining future assessment efforts, focusing assessment activities and visualizing results.

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