Probabilistic derivation of the interspecies assessment factor for skin sensitization
An interspecies sensitization assessment factor (SAF) is used in the quantitative risk assessment (QRA) for skin sensitization when a murine-based NESIL (No Expected Sensitization Induction Level) is taken as point of departure. Several studies showed that, on average, the murine sensitization threshold is in good correspondence with that determined in humans. However, on an individual level, the murine and human sensitization thresholds may differ considerably. In this study, the interspecies SAF was quantified by using a probabilistic approach, to be able to take these cases into account. As expected, the geometric means of the probability distributions of murine and human sensitization threshold ratios were close to one, but taking the 95 th percentile of these distributions resulted in an interspecies SAF of 15. By using this value, one is sure that with 95% probability, the sensitization threshold determined in mice does not underestimate the human threshold. It can be concluded that a murine-based NESIL requires the use of an interspecies SAF (of 15) in the QRA for skin sensitization, to correct for the differences between mice and humans. This empirically derived interspecies SAF contributes to refinement of the risk assessment methodology.