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Suggested Citation:"USE OF LOG-PROBIT ANALYSIS." National Research Council. 1997. Review of Acute Human-Toxicity Estimates for Selected Chemical-Warfare Agents. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5825.
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Page 67

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EVALUATION OF THE RISK-ESTIMATION PROCEDURES USED IN THE CDEPAT 67 REPORT 8— Evaluation of the Risk-Estimation Procedures Used in the CDEPAT Report One of the Goals of the CDEPAT report was to provide dose-response information for various biological effects associated with acute exposure to chemical agents under investigation. Specifically, estimates of the proportion of individuals at risk as a function of exposure were based on log-probit analysis. In this chapter, the subcommittee evaluates this procedure for deriving human- toxicity estimates. USE OF LOG-PROBIT ANALYSIS Log-probit analysis assumes that the density distribution among individuals exposed at the exposures that produce a specified biological effect (for example, death or some incapacitating condition) can be described by a lognormal distribution. In other words, it assumes that the distribution of the log-exposure that produces an effect among individuals is normal. The lognormal distribution is a common and generally accepted approach for describing biological effects. Other statistical distributions could be selected and used, but many notable differences would likely not be observed because of the small numbers of exposure groups and individuals or animals

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No reliable acute-exposure1 standards have been established for the particular purpose of protecting soldiers from toxic exposures to chemical warfare (CW) agents. Some human-toxicity estimates are available for the most common CW agents--organophosphorus nerve agents and vesicants; however, most of those estimates were developed for offensive purposes (that is, to kill or incapacitate the enemy) and were intended to be interim values only. Because of the possibility of a chemical attack by a foreign power, the Army's Office of the Surgeon General asked the Army's Chemical Defense Equipment Process Action Team (CDEPAT) to review the toxicity data for the nerve agents GA (tabun), GB(sarin), GD (soman), GF, and VX, and the vesicant agent sulfur mustard (HD) and to establish a set of exposure limits that would be useful in protecting soldiers from toxic exposures to those agents. This report is an independent review of the CDEPAT report to determine the scientific validity of the proposed estimates.

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