Information Driving Greener Design: Uncertainty in estimating systems accuracy and its impact on decision-making

Organizers: Hans Plugge, Senior Toxicologist, Manager Safer Chemical Analytics, Verisk 3E; Jakub Kostal, George Washington University; Emma Lavoie, EPA

This session focuses on the often controversial and challenging topic of uncertainty in toxicological data and regulatory decision-making. Practitioners must often reconcile data from multiple sources and types of data (e.g. in silico, in vitro, in vivo), which may rely on widely different protocols and approximations. The sheer magnitude of available in silico and in vitro data is both crucial to advancing the assessment of industrial chemicals and their inherent risks, as well as problematic, as it limits human review and expert judgment of data quality. It is important to stress that the magnitude and diversity of datasets available for regulatory assessments will increase in future years as a result of the push for integrated testing strategies. The session format aims for roundtable-style discussions, engaging stakeholders from academia, industry and government. Discussion will follow the ‘storyline’ of problems encountered and available solutions, progressing from i) uncertainty in raw experimental and computational model data, ii) uncertainty in combining multiple data sources and types, iii) approaches to incorporating uncertainty in toxicology, environmental health and chemical databases, iv) strategies for handling uncertainty in regulatory decision-making, and v) communicating uncertainty in public dissemination of toxicological data and assessments.