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An introduction to Criteria for Reporting and Evaluating Exposure Datasets (CREED) for use in environmental assessments

February 8, 2024

Risks posed by environmental exposure to chemicals are routinely assessed to inform activities ranging from environmental status reporting to authorization and registration of chemicals for commercial uses. Environmental risk assessment generally relies on two key values generated from exposure data and ecotoxicity data. Data sets of measured concentrations of chemicals in environmental matrices, referred to here as exposure data, are widely used to support environmental risk management, decision-making, and reporting, such as for chemical screening, ecological or human health risk assessments, and establishment of guidelines. Practitioners have developed schemes to determine the suitability of ecotoxicity data for specific purposes, focused on evaluating reliability and relevance, but analogous schemes are not available for exposure data. Moreover, regulatory guidance arguably provides less resolution on reporting and evaluating exposure data sets compared to ecotoxicity data. The evaluation of exposure data sets is subject to limitations from variable or unreported data quality objectives and/or from differences in expert judgments, potentially introducing bias and leading to decisions based on flawed and/or inconsistent information. Exposure data sets should be evaluated for reliability and relevance prior to use in environmental assessments. This paper is the first of a four-paper series detailing the outcomes of a Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry technical workshop that has developed Criteria for Reporting and Evaluating Exposure Datasets (CREED). The workshop participants developed practical, systematic criteria for consistent and transparent evaluation of the reliability (quality) and relevance (fitness for purpose) of exposure data. This guidance should apply to many different (unspecified) purposes of assessment. CREED can be used to evaluate existing data sets, but can also inform data generators interested in improving their data collection and reporting to maximize data utility to other users. This first paper details existing frameworks for the evaluation of exposure data sets and demonstrates the need for CREED, drawing from different regulatory assessments, and describes the technical workshop. 

Publication Year 2024
Title An introduction to Criteria for Reporting and Evaluating Exposure Datasets (CREED) for use in environmental assessments
DOI 10.1002/ieam.4899
Authors Graham Merrington, Lisa H. Nowell, Charles Peck
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management
Index ID 70251420
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization California Water Science Center