Advertisement

The Value of Animal Test Information in Environmental Control Decisions

Authors

  • Alison C. Taylor,

    1. Environmental Science and Engineering Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health.
    2. Interdisciplinary Programs in Health, Harvard School of Public Health.
    3. To whom all correspondence should be addressed, at: Harvard School of Public Health, Room 1-1308, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • John S. Evans,

    1. Environmental Science and Engineering Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health.
    2. Interdisciplinary Programs in Health, Harvard School of Public Health.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Thomas E. McKone

    1. Interdisciplinary Programs in Health, Harvard School of Public Health.
    2. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Value of information (VOI)analytic techniques are used to evaluate the benefit of performing animal bioassays to provide information about the cancer potency of specific chemical compounds. These tools allow the identification of the conditions in which the cost of reducing uncertainty about potency, by performing a subchronic or chronic bioassay, is justified by the benefit of having improved information for making control decisions. The decision analytic results are readily scaled to apply to a range of human contact rates (exposures)and a variety of control strategies. The sensitivity of results to uncertainty about animal to human extrapolation and the design of the bioassay is explored. An evaluation of the possible gains in general understanding about the mechanisms of carcinogenicity resulting from chronic bioassays is beyond the scope of this approach.

Ancillary