ICF International has developed a structured query language (SQL) database for storing risk assessment data and decisions. DRAGON—or the Dose Response Analytical Generator and Organizational Network—consists of a suite of tools designed to improve transparency and objectivity in literature searches, hazard id, and dose-response assessment. The development of a comprehensive science assessment requires the management of a large database of experimental study information, including study selection, endpoint selection, dosimetry conversions, and benchmark dose (BMD) modeling results. Because the assessments and supporting documents evolve over time as they pass through internal and external reviews, the use of DRAGON as an integrated tool is a natural complement to these efforts. Managing the data and analysis of a chemical in one location during the risk assessment process will increase communication, efficiency, and transparency.
The suite includes four tools that support different parts of the toxicity assessment, and the various pieces developed to that data can easily be transferred between them. The suite includes a tool for literature processing (DRAGON Screen), a database for data warehousing and dose-response modeling for animal and human studies (DRAGON and epiDRAGON), and a tool for visualizing exposure-response arrays (DRAGON CERVE). The suite of tools is designed to allow multiple users to use the tools at once by providing an online SQL database with a separate Microsoft Access user interface stored on the user's computer.
- Allows categorization and the application of exclusion criteria to a list of references. Each categorization is repeated twice as a quality assurance step to ensure each user reaches the same conclusions
- Includes formed-based data entry of key information for studies, dosing-protocols, doses, and endpoints. The inputs entered into the DRAGON software can be marked as QA’d to prevent further editing and to maintain version control
- Incorporates an Excel-based dosimetric conversion tool created by ICF to provide simple dosimetric conversions using standard U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance
- Utilizes the BMDS Wizard, which simplifies BMD modeling by providing a structured interface to maintain all inputs, outputs, and decisions made in the BMD modeling process
- Generates summary results tables to provide detailed results for each endpoint contained in DRAGON, including NOAEL, LOAEL, and/or BMD estimates
- Generates customized Microsoft Word output reports to display key study findings, endpoint details, and BMD modeling results
- Generates customizable graphical exposure-arrays to visually compare multiple endpoints
DRAGON is not endorsed or approved by the EPA.
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The DRAGON software integrates with the BMDS Wizard, which is designed to track all inputs, outputs, and decisions made when modeling one endpoint in EPA’s BMDS software. Download a beta version of the BMDS Wizard.
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Technical SpecialistICF International
Cara Henning has six years of professional experience in exposure and risk assessment, air quality modeling, statistical modeling, and quantitative analysis. She has broad experience using and developing a wide range of exposure and risk modeling tools, including biokinetic and physiologically-based pharmacokinetic models (multiple models for exposure to lead, dioxin, cadmium, and perchlorate), dose-response models (BMDS), indoor air-quality models (MIASMA, designed by ICF; renovation rule indoor lead exposure model, designed by ICF), point source and area source emission models (SLAB and ALOHA), population exposure models (HAPEM and APEX), construction emission models (URBEMIS), and traffic emissions models (CALINE4). She has particular experience building model processing tools to facilitate running exposure and risk models in batch mode for applications such as probabilistic analysis or sensitivity analysis. Currently, she is assisting in the development of the cadmium IRIS documents and the dioxin reassessment. Dr. Henning's areas of expertise include physical modeling, statistical and probabilistic modeling, Fortran and VBA coding, database management, and data analysis.
Dr. Henning has a Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science from Princeton University and a B.S. in Physics with Honors and Highest Distinction from the University of North Carolina.
A.J. Overton provides support to clients in the areas of human health and environmental risk assessment, air quality analysis, database development, and statistical analysis. Mr. Overton has experience in modeling chemical fate and transport in the environment, assessing environmental exposure, and developing software tools to streamline modeling applications and data analysis. He is also a lead for developing Access®-based database solutions, and he supports ICF’s statistical team using SAS® 9.3.
Mr. Overton has a B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Environmental Toxicology.
Senior AssociateICF International
Since joining ICF, Pam Ross has used her toxicology expertise to support human health risk assessments for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Ms. Ross has assisted in the preparation of several Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Toxicological Reviews. She has performed Benchmark Dose Modeling using EPA’s Benchmark Dose Software (BMDS) for relevant toxicity endpoints. She also has served as primary author for the development of provisional peer-reviewed toxicity value documents (PPRTVs) for the Superfund Technical Support Center.
Ms. Ross holds an M.S. in Public Health with a concentration in Environmental Health Sciences.
Senior AssociateICF International
Kristen Marin has a strong background in toxicology, air quality, and environmental health. Ms. Marin has made substantial contributions to numerous toxicology projects and has many years of experience in air quality model projects. Since 2005, she has studied a variety of topics, including global climate change, air pollution, toxicology, long-range atmospheric transport, water quality modeling, air quality management, geospatial analysis, environmental risk assessment, and atmospheric chemistry. Ms. Marin has experience in statistics, and she has conducted many projects utilizing these skills.
Audrey Turley brings her experience in scientific workshop planning, training development, exposure modeling, and human health risk assessment. Ms. Turley has planned and executed several workshops, bringing together scientists to discuss a variety of topics, including goals for a nanomaterials research strategy, the interactions between climate and nitrogen, the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for lead, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) NexGen risk assessment framework. She currently leads the development of a series of training courses that describe the EPA’s approach to conducting human health risk assessment.
Ms. Turley has an M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University and a B.A. degree in Mathematics from Texas A&M University.
Senior ManagerICF International
Joshua Cleland has 20 years of experience providing technical support for U.S. federal environmental quality and food safety regulatory programs. His areas of expertise include chemical exposure and risk assessment, environmental modeling, and federal laws and regulations pertaining to solid and hazardous waste management, air and water pollution control, food safety, organic foods, and biotechnology.
Mr. Cleland has used Microsoft Access and Visual Basic for Applications to create more than 30 user-friendly information management and decision support tools and models for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and other clients. For example, he built a risk-ranking model for FDA to evaluate chemicals in imported aquaculture products, a tool for USDA to aggregate salmonella monitoring data from poultry production facilities, and a tool for FAA to estimate atmospheric emissions from commercial space flight programs. For EPA, he developed the Multimedia Ingestion Risk Calculator (MIRC), a model to estimate human health risk from chemical exposures through diet and other noninhalation exposure pathways.
Mr. Cleland holds a master’s degree in Natural Resource Economics and Policy from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Michigan.