How to run a cumulative assessment

Step 1 – How to set up a new cumulative assessment

To set up a new assessment, navigate to the folder where you wish to store it, click on create in the top right corner and then select Assessment from the dropdown menu.
The first thing to do is to assign a name to the assessment. For this tutorial, type Test cumulative assessment in the input field at the top of the New Assessment window or in the text space at the top of the right-side panel.

It is possible to run a cumulative assessment by selecting Dietary only; click on the radio button beside it.
Now you are asked to select the timeframe; for this tutorial, select Chronic and click wizard-next or on Population in the sidebar.

Step 2 – Select the demographics

The wizard contains as default populations the list of the regulatory populations determined by the guidelines of the Environmental Protection Agency. You can choose a single population or any combination of these populations. It is also possible to create custom populations to be analysed in the dietary assessment in case none of the default populations satisfies the user’s needs. Please refer to the Populations page for more information on how to create a custom population.

For this tutorial, select the population Children 1-2 then click wizard-next or on Chemical/Toxicology in the sidebar.

Step 3 – Select the chemical / toxicology data

Please refer to the page How to create a new table to create a new chemical table. For this tutorial, create a chemical table with the following data into the My Data folder call the table Test Chemical Table

population ID chemical name CAS number route time frame POD uncertainty factor absorption factor Q* decay factor
1 Chemical X 1111-11-11 Oral Chronic 0.5 100
1 Chemical Y 2222-22-22 Oral Chronic 1 300

Insert a chemical table in the dietary assessment

Click on Select a file on the top right corner of the white space of the assessment wizard.

A pop-up window allows you to browse the folders in the software and select the appropriate chemical table. In this example, the chemical table Test Chemical Table was saved in the My Data folder. Click on this folder, select Test Chemical Table and then click on select-green

Now you are back in the assessment wizard. The tab Chemicals contains the list of the unique chemical names included in the chemical table just selected. In this example, the list contains two chemicals: Chemical X and Chemical Y. In the cumulative assessment you are allowed to select as many chemicals as you wish; click on the check-boxes beside Chemical X and Chemical Y. It is necessary to choose one of the two chemicals as Chemical Index in order to perform the calculation of the cumulative exposure levels. Please refer to the page Cumulative Risk Characteziation for more information. In order to select an index chemical, move the cursor of the mouse above the name of the chemical you want to sign as Chemical Index; a tag will appear beside the CAS number of the chemical.
index chemical
Click on Make index; a drop-down menu opens with the following three options:

  • Oral
  • Dermal (applicable in residential assessments only)
  • Inhalation (applicable in residential assessments only)

This is a dietary assessment hence the only route of exposure taken into consideration is the oral one; click on Oral. A gray tag appears beside the CAS number of the index chemical.
index chemical 2

Click on Toxicology. The wizard presents you with the rows of the chemical table that are automatically selected by the program. Only the toxicology data related to the populations, time-frame and chemicals chosen in the previous steps of the assessment wizard are deemed relevant.

When you are happy with the selection of the chemical and toxicology information, click on wizard-next or on Foods in the sidebar.

Step 4 – Select the food data

The Foods step of the dietary assessment requires to provide as many Food tables as the number of chemicals selected in the previous step. It is possible to provide the same food table for both chemicals unless it contains Field and Monitoring residue data. If this is the case, it is necessary to create a foods table for each chemical linked with residue concentration tables containing residue data related to the chemical under analysis. In other words, the Chemical ID of the residue concentration tables must contain the same CAS number of the chemical. The same list of foods must be selected in all the food tables that are going to be used by the cumulative assessment. In case a food table contains a different list of selected foods, the assessment fails.

Please refer to page How to create a new table to create these two tables. This section of the manual presents an example of food table that can be used in this example for both chemicals.

Create a new food table

For this tutorial, create a Food table in the My Data folder and call it Test Food Table. Include the foods and data in the table below.

Food Code SFC Code Residue source Residue value Perc Crop treated MF 1 MF 2 MF 3
1100008000 211 Values 5 0.5 1 2 3
1100266001 240 Values 10 0.2 0.6 1 1
2403280000 130 Values 8 0.2 0.2 1 0.5

Insert a Foods table in the dietary assessment

The Foods step of the dietary assessment presents you with a list of choices you are required to make to run the assessment. Firstly, you have to choose the Foods tables to be used in the assessment wizard for each chemical. In order to do that, click on Select a file beside the name of each chemical.
cumulative food step

The usual pop-up window opens and you can now select the appropriate Food tables. Click on the My Data folder, select Test Food Table and then click on select-green.

You are then required to decide if the processing factors are to be included in the calculation of the exposure levels. If the processing factors must be taken into account, check the Include Processing Factors box. This option is selected by default.
For this tutorial, leave that option selected and click on wizard-next or on Statistics in the sidebar.

The other two options in the check-box list are greyed out because they are not applicable; please refer to the page LOD rules for more information.

Step 5 – Select the calculations and statistics

This page contains a list of checkboxes that give you the capability to customize the output of the dietary assessment. The list changes according to the options selected in the previous steps of the wizard. In particular, it depends on the type of assessment and the time-frame chosen in the first step of the wizard. Please refer to the Statistics page for more information.

To continue the example of this tutorial, you are presented with the following check-boxes:

  • Include absolute exposure
  • Margin of Exposure (MOE)
  • Hazard Index (HI)
  • Cumulative Risk Index (CRI)
  • Contribution analysis

Select all of them apart from Include Intermediate Calculations.

Click on the button run-assessment in the right bottom corner of the assessment wizard. The assessment wizard automatically closes up and you are back in the folder where you have created the assessment. The new assessment is in the list of the assessments present in the folder. The assessment has a tag beside its name; the job running area appears in the top right of the screen.

When the job running area disappears, the assessment run is finished. If you click on the notification area comic-baloon a drop-down will be opened with the list of all the activities performed so far in the software (running assessments, importing tables, etc.). The activity related to the run of the assessment “Test Assessment” is the first in the list. The assessment can be in one of the two following states:

  • Assessment Completed: no errors occurred during the run and now you can open the assessment and see the results by clicking on open-assessment
  • Assessment Failed: an error occurred during the run and the program was not able to calculate the results. It is possible to see a summary of the error(s) by clicking on view-report

Step 6 – Inspect the output

After the assessment runs successfully, you can inspect the output. The structure of the output is described in the page Output.
When you open the assessment output you are presented with the table Dietary exposure results.

You can check the results in two ways:

  • Inside the CARES NG® program by scrolling through the rows of the results table.
  • Outside the CARES NG® program by downloading the results table as a csv file and opening it in an Excel spreadsheet.

In order to download the Dietary exposure results table, click on inputs link on the top right corner. In the section Export Tables click on results-download; a pop-up window opens giving you the possibility to change the settings of the csv file and to download the tables. When you are happy with the settings, click download-green