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An apparent hormetic response may reflect data variability

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posted on 30.12.2011 by Kristina A. Thayer, Ronald Melnick, Kathy Burns, Devra Davis, James Huff

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Taken from "Fundamental Flaws of Hormesis for Public Health Decisions"

Environmental Health Perspectives 2005;113(10):1271-1276.

Published online 15 Jun 2005

PMCID:PMC1281265.

This is an Open Access article: verbatim copying and redistribution of this article are permitted in all media for any purpose, provided this notice is preserved along with the article's original DOI.

Some responses may appear to be hormetic but actually be an artifact of the experimental and analytical methodology because of data variability (shown here), small group size, large number of end points analyzed, unequal evaluations in all dose groups, effects of the agent on body weight and survival, and the underlying mechanism of the nonmonotonic dose response. Criteria for listing a response as hormesis must address all these potential confounding factors.

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