July 1, 2015

Optimizing Human Health Through Linear Dose–Response Models

  • Dima Yazji Shamoun

    Associate Director of Research, University of Texas Center for Politics & Governance
  • Edward J. Calabrese, Jaap C. Hanekamp

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This paper proposes that generic cancer risk assessments be based on the integration of the Linear Non-Threshold (LNT) and hormetic dose–responses since optimal hormetic beneficial responses are estimated to occur at the dose associated with a 10−4 risk level based on the use of a LNT model as applied to animal cancer studies. The adoption of the 10−4 risk estimate provides a theoretical and practical integration of two competing risk assessment models whose predictions cannot be validated in human population studies or with standard chronic animal bioassay data. This model-integration reveals both substantial protection of the population from cancer effects (i.e. functional utility of the LNT model) while offering the possibility of significant reductions in cancer incidence should the hormetic dose–response model predictions be correct. The dose yielding the 10−4 cancer risk therefore yields the optimized toxicologically based “regulatory sweet spot”.

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