Why I Changed my Mind about Systematic Evidence Maps (+ 2 new publications)

rachel talks tox

The goal of most environmental health research is to understand how a specific exposure impacts human health. In essence, the focus is on discovery.

The goal of risk assessment, however, is to use existing data to quantify population risk from exposures, with the aim of informing policy and regulations. Here, the focus is on evaluation andsynthesis of the published research.

Over the last decade, systematic review has been gaining traction in the environmental health field as a way to transparently and objectively evaluate and synthesize evidence across multiple studies on a particular question (e.g., is there a link between developmental exposure to PFOA and fetal growth?).

But, because systematic review is focused on a specific research question, it is actually too narrow to inform the early stages of chemical assessments and evaluations – which often need to start by broadly scoping the entire evidence base before…

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Toxicologist & marathon runner