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The approach of mammalian toxicologists to determining margins of safety has been to define situational margins of safety for each definable situation; however, aquatic toxicologists have taken a global approach to estimating safety margins, attempting to establish a single margin of safety to encompass all conceivable situations. Though either approach can determine safety margins that will protect organisms or systems of concern, the global approach is likely to be more conservative, and thus much more difficult to achieve. In the future, aquatic toxicologists should try to move toward situationally dependent assessments.
aquatic toxicology, hazard assessment, safety margins, mammalian toxicology, regulations, situational assessments, global assessments
Director, Health and Safety, E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Wilmington, Del.