Article

Guidelines for the communication of Biomonitoring Equivalents: report from the Biomonitoring Equivalents Expert Workshop.

LaKind Associates, LLC, 106 Oakdale Avenue, Catonsville, MD 21228, USA.
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology (Impact Factor: 2.13). 06/2008; 51(3 Suppl):S16-26. DOI: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2008.05.007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Biomonitoring Equivalents (BEs) are screening tools for interpreting biomonitoring data. However, the development of BEs brings to the public a relatively novel concept in the field of health risk assessment and presents new challenges for environmental risk communication. This paper provides guidance on methods for conveying information to the general public, the health care community, regulators and other interested parties regarding how chemical-specific BEs are derived, what they mean in terms of health, and the challenges and questions related to interpretation and communication of biomonitoring data. Key communication issues include: (i) developing a definition of the BE that accurately captures the BE concept in lay terms, (ii) how to compare population biomonitoring data to BEs, (iii) interpreting biomonitoring data that exceed BEs for a specific chemical, (iv) how to best describe the confidence in chemical-specific BEs, and (v) key requirements for effective communication with health care professionals. While the risk communication literature specific to biomonitoring is sparse, many of the concepts developed for traditional risk assessments apply, including transparency and discussions of confidence and uncertainty. Communication of BEs will require outreach, education, and development of communication materials specific to several audiences including the lay public and health care providers.

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