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Emerging Needs in Epidemiology and Risk Assessment.

NIOSH 1985 May:4 pages
In the concluding and closing remarks of the symposium, the author notes that toxicology and epidemiology have many common problems. The sample size in toxicological studies is normally small; thus only few animals are tested at each dose level and only few different dose levels are tested. The lifetime testing requirements make animal studies very expensive. As with human studies, animal studies are faced with the problem of confounding factors; for example, caging conditions (temperature, humidity), quality of air in the animal rooms, and feed from different lots. In addition, there may be variations in the agent under study or in its mode of administration, complicating pooling of data from different experiments. The use of highly inbred animal strains makes extrapolation difficult. In epidemiologic studies, the problem of genetics lies in the fact that in order to limit genetic confounding factors, the populations studied must be of small size, which can severely limit statistical evaluations. The author concludes that epidemiology and toxicology complement one another, and that it is important for public policy makers to recognize the limitations of each of the disciplines and their synergistic powers.
Risk-analysis; Health-surveys; Health-standards; Comparative-toxicology; Humans; Safety-research; Laboratory-work;
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings;
Fiscal Year
Priority Area
Infectious Diseases; Disease and Injury;
Source Name
Proceedings of a Symposium on Epidemiology and Health Risk Assessment, Columbia, Maryland, May 14-16, 1985, Centers for Disease Control/NIOSH, 4 pages
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division