Vit. artikkel


  • 2008

The setting of occupational exposure limits (OELs) are founded in occupational medicine and the predictive toxicological testing, resulting in exposure–response relationships. For compounds where a No-Observed-Adverse-Effect-Level (NOAEL) can be established, health-based OELs are set by dividing the NOAEL of the critical effect by an overall uncertainty factor. Possibly, the approach may also be used for carcinogens if the mechanism is epigenetic or the genetic effect is secondary to effect from reactions with proteins such as topoisomerase inhibitors, and mitotic and meiotic spindle poisons. Additionally, the NOAEL approach may also be used for compounds with weak genotoxic effect, playing no or only a minor role in the development of tumours. No health-based OEL can be set for direct-acting genotoxic compounds where the life-time risks may be estimated from the low-dose linear non-threshold extrapolation, allowing a politically based exposure level to be set. OELs are set by several agencies in the US and Europe, but also in-house in major chemical and pharmaceutical companies. The benchmark dose approach may in the future be used where it has advantage over the NOAEL approach. Also, more attention should be devoted to sensitive groups, toxicological mechanisms and interactions as most workplace exposures are mixtures.

Nielsen, Gunnar Damgård; Øvrebø, Steinar
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology (RTP) 51(3): 253–269
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