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Risk Assessment in the 21st Century - Conference Abstract
Hines, R. Risk Assessment in the 21st Century - Conference Abstract. Yale Environmental Health Sciences Lecture Series, New Haven, CT, January 25, 2017.
The presentation provides an update on current progress by the US EPA/ORD in achieving the goals outlined in the NAS reports: “Toxicology Testing in the 21st Century”, “Exposure Science in the 21st Century”, and most recently, “Using 21st Century Science to Improve Risk-Related Evaluations.” The presentation will inform academic scientists on how their research might be applied to modern risk assessment, but perhaps more importantly, will inform the next generation of scientists on how risk assessment is changing and how they can contribute as they develop their careers.
For the past ~50 years, risk assessment depended almost exclusively on animal testing for hazard identification and dose-response assessment. Originally sound and effective, with increasing dependence on chemical tools and the number of chemicals in commerce, this traditional approach is no longer sufficient. This presentation provides an update on current progress in achieving the goals outlined in the NAS reports: “Toxicology Testing in the 21st Century”, “Exposure Science in the 21st Century”, and most recently, “Using 21st Century Science to Improve Risk-Related Evaluations.” The presentation highlights many of the advances lead by the EPA. Topics covered include the evolution of the mode of action concept into the chemically agnostic, adverse outcome pathway (AOP), a systems-based data framework that facilitates integration of modifiable factors (e.g., genetic variation, life stages), and an understanding of networks, and mixtures. Further, the EDSP pivot is used to illustrate how AOPs drive development of predictive models for risk assessment based on assembly of high throughput assays representing AOP key elements. The birth of computational exposure science, capable of large-scale predictive exposure models, is reviewed. Although still in its infancy, development of non-targeted analysis to begin addressing the exposome is presented, as is the systems-based AEP that integrates exposure, toxicokinetics and AOPs into a comprehensive framework. Finally, an example is provided on how epidemiology is being integrated with other sciences to provide tools to facilitate public health decision making. The presentation concludes with challenges and opportunities moving forward.