Author(s): Schulte P, Mazzuckelli LF
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Abstract The evaluation of biological markers is recognized as necessary to the future of toxicology, epidemiology, and quantitative risk assessment. For biological markers to become widely accepted, their validity must be ascertained. This paper explores the range of considerations that compose the concept of validity as it applies to the evaluation of biological markers. Three broad categories of validity (measurement, internal study, and external) are discussed in the context of evaluating data for use in quantitative risk assessment. Particular attention is given to the importance of measurement validity in the consideration of whether to use biological markers in epidemiologic studies. The concepts developed in this presentation are applied to examples derived from the occupational environment. In the first example, measurement of bromine release as a marker of ethylene dibromide toxicity is shown to be of limited use in constructing an accurate quantitative assessment of the risk of developing cancer as a result of long-term, low-level exposure. This example is compared to data obtained from studies of ethylene oxide, in which hemoglobin alkylation is shown to be a valid marker of both exposure and effect.
This article was published in Environ Health Perspect
and referenced in Journal of Glycomics & Lipidomics