Toxicity Prediction of Chemical Mixtures

Authored by: Nina Cedergreen , Claus Svendsen , Thomas Backhaus

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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In this entry, we will introduce the two major concepts used for predicting the toxicity of chemical mixtures. The two concepts are that of Concentration Addition (CA) and Independent Action (IA), both having several names within different scientific disciplines. Both concepts are based on knowledge of single-compound toxicities and the assumption of no interaction. The main conceptual difference between the two concepts is their pharmacological interpretation. CA assumes that the components behave as simple dilutions of one another, which is commonly interpreted as being the case for compounds of a mixture sharing a strictly similar mechanism of action. In contrast, IA is based on the idea of completely independently acting chemicals, which is commonly interpreted as the compounds of a mixture having dissimilar mechanisms of action. Models based on both concepts will be described together with their use, and the strengths and weaknesses of the models will be discussed.

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