National Academies Press: OpenBook

Issues in Risk Assessment (1993)

Chapter: Agricultural Chemicals

« Previous: Application to the Case Studies
Suggested Citation:"Agricultural Chemicals." National Research Council. 1993. Issues in Risk Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2078.


R. Costanza and D. Mauriello

The group examined the case studies with regard to their use or nonuse of models. Each was evaluated according to the answers to these questions:

  • Were models used?

  • If models were not used, would they have improved the assessment?

  • If models were used, could their use have been improved?

The group also considered some general issues regarding the use of mathematical models in risk assessment and risk management.

Use of Models in the Case Studies

Models were not used in the hazard identification phase. They were used to predict the rate of leaching of TBT into the water from ships painted with antifouling paint. The decision to ban the use of the paints in Virginia was based only on hazard assessment. Such a decision might not have been made if the vulnerable organisms had not included commercially valued species.

Agricultural Chemicals

This case study described a rigorous approach to hazard identification and exposure-response assessment. Models were extensively used in determinations of the sensitivity of end- point species to pesticide exposure. The case study paper pointed out that little basic knowledge is available on the overall ecology of agroecosystems and that this would be a fertile subject for future modeling efforts. The discussion group agreed that larger-scale models are required to deal with geographic variability and to guide future research in pesticide ecotoxicology.

Suggested Citation:"Agricultural Chemicals." National Research Council. 1993. Issues in Risk Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2078.
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The scientific basis, inference assumptions, regulatory uses, and research needs in risk assessment are considered in this two-part volume.

The first part, Use of Maximum Tolerated Dose in Animal Bioassays for Carcinogenicity, focuses on whether the maximum tolerated dose should continue to be used in carcinogenesis bioassays. The committee considers several options for modifying current bioassay procedures.

The second part, Two-Stage Models of Carcinogenesis, stems from efforts to identify improved means of cancer risk assessment that have resulted in the development of a mathematical dose-response model based on a paradigm for the biologic phenomena thought to be associated with carcinogenesis.

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