Seneca Fitch is a Scientist II with the Center for 21st Century Toxicology and is based in McKinney, Texas. Ms. Fitch regularly serves as an information specialist in support of systematic evaluations of consumer products, food ingredients and additives, pharmaceuticals, and industrial chemicals. She has particular expertise in developing database-specific syntax and implementing search strategies for investigational and systematic literature searches in citation databases such as PubMed, Embase, and ToxPlanet. This work consists of formulating search strings according to structured and controlled vocabulary, such as PubMed’s MeSH and Embase’s Emtree, using Boolean search phrases, and using reference management software (e.g., DistillerSR) to organize and deliver query results. Additionally, Ms. Fitch has practical knowledge of the start-to-finish process of a systematic review according to several frameworks. These efforts include protocol development, definition of inclusion and exclusion criteria and data extraction parameters, critical appraisal of relevance and study quality, and creation of evidence tables and data visualizations. Recently, she has applied the principals of systematic review to the evaluation of endocrine potential in compounds using guidance such as ECHA’s 2018 Guidance for the identification of endocrine disruptors. These efforts include developing a strategy to gather and assess all relevant information, assemble lines of evidence, and analyze the dataset for estrogen, androgen, thyroid, or steroidogenesis-related endocrine activity.
In an extension of systematic evaluation, Ms. Fitch developed and maintains several internal and external tools that consult a wide range of sources to combine data and assist in managing the scientific landscape—a capability that allows for efficient and timely summarizing of large amounts of information in qualitative and quantitative capacities. These databases include guidance levels developed for food additives by several regulatory agencies (e.g., Acceptable Daily Intakes [ADIs]), regulatory status of such additives, and results of toxicity and carcinogenicity studies for more than 1,800 chemical exposure studies.
In addition to her skills in systematic review and literature identification, Ms. Fitch also has experience in the conduct of hazard assessments for a range of products, such as herbal and natural products, essential oils, food additives, and microorganisms. This includes identification of toxicological data, as well as integration of regulatory considerations from both US and international agencies to ensure a comprehensive overview of the product. She has also collaborated in determining appropriate receptor locations for air dispersion modeling of chemical releases to characterize chemical concentrations present in residential, occupational, and sensitive populations. The resulting data sets were used to perform a preliminary health hazard screening and risk assessment of the possible exposure scenarios. Ms. Fitch has a strong working knowledge of health-based environmental toxicological values from federal human health assessment programs, such as ADIs, reference concentrations (RfCs), reference doses (RfDs), and maximum residue levels (MRLs), as well as emergency exposure guideline levels (e.g., acute exposure guideline levels [AEGLs], emergency response planning guidelines [ERPGs], and temporary emergency exposure limits [TEELs]).