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Uncertainty factor

Similar term(s): safety factor, margin of safety.

Definition:

A number (equal or greater than 1) used to divide NOAEL or LOAEL values derived from measurements in animals or small groups of humans, in order to estimate a NOAEL or LOAEL value for the whole human population; also called margin-of-safety.

Source: IPCS

More:

Uncertainty factors are used to compensate for a deficiency in knowledge concerning the accuracy of test results and the difficulty in estimating the health effects in a different species and/or in different exposure conditions. As such, the value of the uncertainty factor depends on the nature of the toxic effect, the size and type of population to be protected, and the quality of the toxicological information, and includes scientific judgments.

Uncertainty factors are also used when deriving a tolerable daily intake (TDI) from the most sensitive endpoint in the most relevant study (LOAEL or NOAEL).

Related words:

Exposure - LOAEL - NOAEL - Population - Tolerable Daily Intake - Toxic - Toxicology

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