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  • Whaley_et_al (3)

    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Environment International. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Environment International, 92-93, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2015.11.002 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

    Accepted author manuscript, 244 KB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY-NC-ND

  • 1_s2.0_S0160412015300866_main

    Rights statement: © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

    Final published version, 1.05 MB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


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Implementing systematic review techniques in chemical risk assessment: challenges, opportunities and recommendations

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Marlene Ågerstrand
  • Elisa Aiassa
  • Diane Benford
  • Gary S. Bilotta
  • David Coggon
  • Chris Collins
  • Ciara Dempsey
  • Raquel Duarte-Davidson
  • Rex Fitzgerald
  • Malyka Galay-Burgos
  • David Gee
  • Sebastian Hoffmann
  • Juleen Lam
  • Toby J. Lasserson
  • Len Levy
  • Steven Lipworth
  • Sarah Mackenzie Ross
  • Olwenn Martin
  • Catherine Meads
  • Monika Meyer-Baron
  • James Miller
  • Camilla Pease
  • Andrew Rooney
  • Alison Sapiets
  • Gavin Stewart
  • David Taylor
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>07/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Environment International
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)556-564
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date11/12/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Systematic review (SR) is a rigorous, protocol-driven approach designed to minimise error and bias when summarising the body of research evidence relevant to a specific scientific question. Taking as a comparator the use of SR in synthesising research in healthcare, we argue that SR methods could also pave the way for a “step change” in the transparency, objectivity and communication of chemical risk assessments (CRA) in Europe and elsewhere. We suggest that current controversies around the safety of certain chemicals are partly due to limitations in current CRA procedures which have contributed to ambiguity about the health risks posed by these substances. We present an overview of how SR methods can be applied to the assessment of risks from chemicals, and indicate how challenges in adapting SR methods from healthcare research to the CRA context might be overcome. Regarding the latter, we report the outcomes from a workshop exploring how to increase uptake of SR methods, attended by experts representing a wide range of fields related to chemical toxicology, risk analysis and SR. Priorities which were identified include: the conduct of CRA-focused prototype SRs; the development of a recognised standard of reporting and conduct for SRs in toxicology and CRA; and establishing a network to facilitate research, communication and training in SR methods. We see this paper as a milestone in the creation of a research climate that fosters communication between experts in CRA and SR and facilitates wider uptake of SR methods into CRA.

Bibliographic note

© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).