An exposure-response curve for copper excess and deficiency

Andrea Chambers, Daniel Krewski, Nicholas Birkett, Laura Plunkett, Richard Hertzberg, Ruth Danzeisen, Peter J. Aggett, Thomas B. Starr, Scott Baker, Michael Dourson, Paul Jones, Carl L Keen, Bette Meek, Rita Schoeny, Wout Slob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


There is a need to define exposure-response curves for both Cu excess and deficiency to assist in determining the acceptable range of oral intake. A comprehensive database has been developed where different health outcomes from elevated and deficient Cu intakes were assigned ordinal severity scores to create common measures of response. A generalized linear model for ordinal data was used to estimate the probability of response associated with dose, duration and severity. The model can account for differences in animal species, the exposure medium (drinking water and feed), age, sex, and solubility. Using this model, an optimal intake level of 2.6 mg Cu/d was determined. This value is higher than the current U.S. recommended dietary intake (RDI; 0.9 mg/d) that protects against toxicity from Cu deficiency. It is also lower than the current tolerable upper intake level (UL; 10 mg/d) that protects against toxicity from Cu excess. Compared to traditional risk assessment approaches, categorical regression can provide risk managers with more information, including a range of intake levels associated with different levels of severity and probability of response. To weigh the relative harms of deficiency and excess, it is important that the results be interpreted along with the available information on the nature of the responses that were assigned to each severity score.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-578
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part B: Critical Reviews
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Oct 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology


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