alexa Acrylamide and cancer risk--expert risk assessments and the public debate.

Author(s): Rudn C

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Abstract This study has two parts. In the first part, fourteen carcinogen risk assessments of acrylamide made by different expert groups during the years 1976-2002 are compared in terms of their overall conclusions and their use of primary data. In the second part, the public debate on acrylamide and cancer risks and the questioning of the expert risk assessment, that arose as a reaction to the identification of this substance in staple food is discussed. In the first part it is shown that the expert risk assessors concur to a large degree about the assessment of the acrylamide potential to cause cancer. Three risk assessors have concluded that acrylamide is neither carcinogenic to humans nor to animals, while eleven risk assessors have concluded that acrylamide is carcinogenic in animals and is likely to be carcinogenic in humans. The differences in the overall conclusions seem to a large extent be explained by an evolving database. The risk assessors agree considerably on how to interpret and evaluate the available primary data, but the coverage of the available references is low. These results are also compared to those previously published on risk assessments of trichloroethylene. In the second part the arguments used in the public debate to question the expert risk assessment are summarized and it is argued that they are not based on the principles generally accepted in toxicological risk assessment. This article was published in Food Chem Toxicol and referenced in

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