A practical guidance for Cramer class determination

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Abstract

Expanded use of the Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) methodology has brought into discussion the intent of the original questions used in the Cramer scheme or Cramer decision tree. We have analysed, both manually and by Toxtree software, a large dataset of fragrance ingredients and identified several issues with the original Cramer questions. Some relate to definitions and wording of questions; others relate to in silico interpretation of the questions. We have endeavoured to address all of these inconsistencies and misinterpretations without changing the basic structure and principles of the original decision tree. Based on the analysis of a large data set of over 2500 fragrance ingredients, we found that most of the 33 questions in the original Cramer scheme are straightforward. Through repeated examination each of the 33 questions, we found 14 where the logic underlying the development of the rule is unclear. These questions are well served by minor wording changes and/or further explanation designed to capture what we perceive to be the intent of the original decision tree. The findings reported here could be used as a guidance for conducting Cramer classification and provide advices for the improvement of the in silico tools.

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