Reproductive, including developmental, toxicity risk assessment has typically relied on estimation of toxicity criteria values derived from no-observed-adverse-effect levels (NOAELs). The benchmark dose (BMD) approach has been proposed as an alternative that avoids problems with NOAELs. In this analysis of the reproductive and developmental toxicity observed in a multigeneration study of rats exposed to isopropanol, the BMD approach has been applied to all effects exhibiting significant dose-response relationships. The BMD estimates were very consistent across models and across end points; they were within the range of doses (100 to 500 mg/kg/day) that has been suggested as being the NOAEL. The use of the BMD approach for analysis of isopropanol reproductive toxicity is shown to avoid the experiment-specific argument of whether a particular treatment has induced statistically significant differences, compared to controls, in favor of the estimation of experiment-independent doses corresponding to risk levels of interest. The consistency of the BMD estimates, with values of about 420 mg/kg/day, suggests that, for isopropanol, the available multigeneration study data may provide a suitable basis for considering safe exposure.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.