Refinement of the ECETOC approach to identify endocrine disrupting properties of chemicals in ecotoxicology

Authors : Weltje L, Wheeler JR, Weyers A, Galay Burgos M
Publisher : Toxicology Letters. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2013.02.019. (In Press, Corrected Proof )

Weltje L, Wheeler JR, Weyers A, Galay Burgos M. 2013
Refinement of the ECETOC approach to identify endocrine disrupting properties of chemicals in ecotoxicology
Toxicology Letters. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2013.02.019. (In Press, Corrected Proof )

Abstract

To use and implement an assessment scheme for the evaluation of endocrine disrupting properties of chemicals in ecotoxicology, the types of effect need to be agreed. Effects that merit further consideration in this context should fulfil the following three criteria: caused by an endocrine mode of action, be adverse, and be relevant at the population level to reflect the protection goal of ecotoxicological assessments. Thereafter, a comparison of effect values, regardless of the causative mechanisms, should be made, firstly to determine if endocrine toxicity generates the lowest endpoint within a taxon, and secondly if it is the lowest endpoint compared to that of other taxa living in the same compartment. These comparisons inform on two levels of specificity and determine if endocrine-mediated side-effects determine the ecotoxicological profile of a chemical. Various quantitative measures for the assessment of potency are also presented, which could assist in determining how to handle substances in the risk assessment when a regulatory concern is identified. Finally, derogation criteria should be defined for compounds that were designed as endocrine disruptors for non-vertebrates and those for which there is ?negligible exposure?. This paper discusses and provides proposals on how to apply these concepts for assessment of substances.

Keywords

  • Endocrine disruption;
  • Population relevance;
  • Adversity;
  • Risk assessment;
  • Specificity

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