A Web-Based System for Bayesian Benchmark Dose Estimation

Background: Benchmark dose (BMD) modeling is an important step in human health risk assessment and is used as the default approach to identify the point of departure for risk assessment. A probabilistic framework for dose–response assessment has been proposed and advocated by various institutions and organizations; therefore, a reliable tool is needed to provide distributional estimates for BMD and other important quantities in dose–response assessment. Objectives: We developed an online system for Bayesian BMD (BBMD) estimation and compared results from this software with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Benchmark Dose Software (BMDS). Methods: The system is built on a Bayesian framework featuring the application of Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling for model parameter estimation and BMD calculation, which makes the BBMD system fundamentally different from the currently prevailing BMD software packages. In addition to estimating the traditional BMDs for dichotomous and continuous data, the developed system is also capable of computing model-averaged BMD estimates. Results: A total of 518 dichotomous and 108 continuous data sets extracted from the U.S. EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database (and similar databases) were used as testing data to compare the estimates from the BBMD and BMDS programs. The results suggest that the BBMD system may outperform the BMDS program in a number of aspects, including fewer failed BMD and BMDL calculations and estimates. Conclusions: The BBMD system is a useful alternative tool for estimating BMD with additional functionalities for BMD analysis based on most recent research. Most importantly, the BBMD has the potential to incorporate prior information to make dose–response modeling more reliable and can provide distributional estimates for important quantities in dose–response assessment, which greatly facilitates the current trend for probabilistic risk assessment.

Publication Date:
Jan 11 2018
Date Submitted:
Jun 28 2019
Environmental Health Perspectives
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 Record created 2019-06-28, last modified 2019-07-11

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