Statistics Seminars: Subjective judgements in skin sensitisation hazard assessment
27 January 2014 14:00 in CM221
Skin sensitisation refers to a human health risk (often allergic contact dermatitis) that can be caused by skin contact with a wide range of chemicals, including those used in personal care products. One key quantity of interest in skin sensitisation hazard assessment is the mean threshold for skin sensitisation for some defined population (called the sensitising potency). Before considering the sensitising potency of the chemical, the hazard assessors decide whether the chemical has the potential to be a skin sensitiser in humans. A Bayesian belief network approach to this part of the assessment, which handles the disparate lines of evidence within a probabilistic framework, has been applied successfully. The greater challenge comes in the quantification of uncertainty about the potency concentration.
“We have used a Bayes linear framework to model the hazard assessors' expectations and uncertainties and to update those beliefs in the light of some competing data sources. In producing a tool for synthesising multiple lines of evidence and estimating hazard, we have developed a transparent mechanism to help defend and communicate risk management decisions. In this seminar, I will describe the use of Bayes linear kinematics in this application, and, hopefully, I will be able to highlight the value of these methods where fast decisions are needed and data are sparse.
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