Pham LL, Borghoff SJ, Thompson CM. 2020. Comparison of threshold of toxicological concern (TTC) values to oral reference dose (RfD) values. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 113:104651 [open access].
Thousands of chemicals have limited, or no hazard data readily available to characterize human risk. The threshold of toxicological concern (TTC) constitutes a science-based tool for screening level risk-based prioritization of chemicals with low exposure. Herein we compare TTC values to more rigorously derived reference dose (RfD) values for 288 chemicals in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database. Using the Cramer decision tree and the Kroes tiered decision tree approaches to determine TTC values, the TCC for the majority of these chemicals were determined to be lower than their corresponding RfD values. The ratio of log10(RfD/TCC) was used to measure the differences between these values and the mean ratio for the substances evaluated was ~0.74 and ~0.79 for the Cramer and Kroes approach, respectively, when considering the Cramer Classes only. These data indicate that the RfD values for Cramer Class III compounds were, on average, ~6-fold higher than their TTC value. These analyses indicate that provisional oral toxicity values might be estimated from TTCs in data-poor or emergency situations; moreover, RfD values that are well below TTC values (e.g., 2 standard deviations below the log10(Ratio)) might be overly conservative and targets for re-evaluation.