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Symposium on the use of epidemiology studies in regulatory risk assessment

29 July 2011

An upcoming symposium, initiated by the APVMA and facilitated by the Australasian College of Toxicology and Risk Assessment (ACTRA) on The Use of Epidemiology Studies in Regulatory Risk Assessment will bring experts and regulatory agencies together to explore the role of epidemiology studies in regulatory decision-making processes.

Responding to the hypotheses put forward by epidemiology studies is a common challenge for regulators. The public often expect regulators to remove chemicals from the market based on epidemiological suggestions of human health risks associated with a particular chemical exposure. However, while many of these studies are useful for identifying potential hazards or generating hypotheses, they cannot determine cause and effect.

The symposium will canvas issues such as:

  • the application of epidemiology studies to chemical risk assessment and standard setting
  • the uncertainties of epidemiology
  • how epidemiological investigations can be used in conjunction with toxicology studies conducted according to established test protocols.

While the symposium will have a focus on pesticides, it will also cover research on other chemical classes and environmental hazards.

In addition to the expert input of a number of Australian epidemiologists, the APVMA and ACTRA welcomes the contribution of an international scientist, Dr Tim Pastoor, who is the key author on a recent paper which has proposed a framework for combining toxicological and epidemiological evidence to establish causal inference in risk assessment. Dr Les Davies, the APVMAs Principal Scientist, Pesticides, will introduce the symposium which will be held at the CSIRO Discovery Centre in Canberra on Wednesday 10 August 2011. The program and further information is available on the ACTRA website.

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Last updated on 9 August, 2011