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nogenesis is due to epigenetic or nongenotoxic mechanisms, a threshold dose may be considered. Attempts to estimate carcinogenic risks associated with levels of exposure have involved fitting mathematical models to experimental data and extrapolating from these models to predict risks at doses that are usually well below the experimental range. The multistage model of Armitage and Doll is used most frequently for low-dose extrapolation. According to multistage theory, a malignant cancer cell develops from a single stem cell as a result of a number of biological events (e.g., mutations) that must occur in a specific order. Recently, a two-stage model that explicitly provides for tissue growth and cell kinetics also has been used in carcinogenic risk assessment.
The multistage model, characterized by low-dose linearity, forms the basis for setting SMACs for carcinogens. Low-dose linearity is generally assumed for chemical carcinogens that act through direct interaction with genetic material.
Issues in Making Recommendations for the Establishment of SMACs
A number of issues need to be considered in developing recommendations for establishing SMACs. These issues include (1) translating animal toxicity data to predict toxicities in humans; (2) determining 30-or 180-day SMACs for carcinogens based on toxicological or epidemiological studies that often involve long-term or lifetime exposure; (3) considering limits set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, and the National Research Council in developing SMACs; (4) evaluating the toxicities of mixtures; and (5) modifying risk assessments based on the altered environment in the microgravity of space.