This study evaluates the risk assessment approach currently employed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-contaminated media, wherein carcinogenic hazards are evaluated using a dose-addition model that employs potency equivalency factors (PEFs) for targeted carcinogenic PAHs. Here, MutaMouse mice were subchronically exposed to PAH mixtures (p.o.), and mutagenic potency (MP) values were determined for five tissues. Predicted dose-additive mixture MPs were generated by summing the products of the concentrations and MPs of the individual targeted PAHs; values were compared to the experimental MPs of the mixtures to evaluate dose-additivity. Additionally, the PEF-determined BaP-equivalent concentrations were compared to those determined using a bioassay-derived method (BDM) (i.e., an additivity-independent approach). In bone marrow, mixture mutagenicity was less than dose-additive and the PEF-method provided higher estimates of BaP-equivalents than the BDM. Conversely, mixture mutagenicity in site-of-contact tissues (e.g., small intestine) was generally more than dose-additive and the PEF-method provided lower estimates of BaP-equivalents than the BDM. Overall, this study demonstrates that dose-additive predictions of mixture mutagenic potency based on the concentrations and potencies of a small number of targeted PAHs results in values that are surprisingly close to those determined experimentally, providing support for the dose-additive assumption employed for human health risk assessment of PAH mixtures.

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Journal Environmental Science and Technology
Long, A.S. (Alexandra S.), Lemieux, C.L. (Christine L.), Gagné, R. (Rémi), Lambert, I, & White, P.A. (Paul A.). (2017). Genetic Toxicity of Complex Mixtures of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons: Evaluating Dose-Additivity in a Transgenic Mouse Model. Environmental Science and Technology, 51(14), 8138–8148. doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b00985