An update from ERGO partner John W Green

09 Dec 2021

‌The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Test Guidelines (TGs) are a unique tool used to assess the potential effects of chemicals on human and environmental health. OECD TGs are internationally accepted as standard methods for safety testing, they are used by professionals in industry, academia and government involved in the testing and assessment of chemicals (industrial chemicals, pesticides, personal care products, etc.). OECD TGs are continuously developed, reviewed and updated to ensure they reflect the state-of-the-art science and techniques in order to meet member countries regulatory needs. OECD TGs are developed with the assistance of experts from regulatory agencies, academia, industry, environmental and animal welfare organisations.

ERGO partner John W Green is ERGO‘s expert statistician for regulatory risk assessment of ecotoxicology. This year, John has consulted with Environment and Climate Change Canada to generate the report “Comparison of Three Methods for Statistical Analysis of Amphibian Developmental Stage” which will be used in the development of a new TG for a Leopard Frog Test. Extensive computer simulations were done to explore the standard step-down Jonckheere-Terpstra test (JT), the multi-quantile Jonckheere-Terpstra test (MQJT), and the Rao-Scott Cochran-Armitage by Slices (RSCABS) test to determine a no observed effect concentration (NOEC) for developmental stage. Two of these tests are currently used in several OECD TGs for similar purposes, e.g., OECD TG 231 (MQJT), TG 240 (RSCABS), and JT is used in many TGs. The research revealed unexpected properties of these tests which will be useful in refining several guidelines under development in ERGO. A paper may be published based on this report, we will keep you informed of developments on the ERGO website.

John also consulted with Health Canada to review numerous software packages to fit species sensitivity distributions for risk assessment and to make recommendations. This work also involved extensive computer simulations to determine how well each package handled bi-modal or censored data, non-normally distributed data and other problematic data issues and whether model averaging was included and, if so, how it was implemented. The report explored all types of response data commonly encountered in ecotoxicological studies. This work may also be published later and in any case, will be useful in doing risk assessment involving some of the TGs being investigated by ERGO.

John has expert knowledge of biostatistics particularly for toxicological applications. He has been heavily involved in providing statistical analysis and consultancy to OECD programmes leading to the validation of TGs. Within in ERGO, John supports WP2, WP3, WP4 and WP5 with bio-statistical consultancy on selecting samples size and power analysis to ensure statistical soundness on OECD levels.

For more information, please visit John W