Legal criteria and judicial precedents relevant to incorporation of hormesis into regulatory decision-making

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4 Scopus citations


Neither US regulatory programs nor the US legal system have yet to be confronted with a regulatory decision in which hormesis played a significant role. Nonetheless, with the growing scientific attention being paid to the large body of data suggesting that many otherwise toxic agents may exhibit a protective effect at low concentrations, it is highly likely that the regulatory and legal systems will soon face the challenge of whether and how hormesis should be incorporated into regulatory decisions. This article describes the legal criteria and judicial precedents that are likely to govern the incorporation of hormesis into regulatory decision-making. While these various legal requirements will be influential in agency decision-making with respect to hormesis, it is likely that, due to the fundamental shift in assumptions that hormesis represents, legal decision-makers will largely defer to scientific opinion, as expressed through the recommendations of agency scientific advisory boards and other scientific entities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-153
Number of pages13
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 8 2002


  • Hormesis
  • Judicial decisions
  • Legal requirements
  • Regulatory decision-making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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