Sipping From a Poisoned Chalice

  title={Sipping From a Poisoned Chalice},
  author={Jocelyn Kaiser},
  pages={376 - 379}
  • J. Kaiser
  • Published 17 October 2003
  • Physics, Medicine
  • Science
People have believed since antiquity that tiny doses of toxicants can be healthful. Now hormesis, a concept once discredited in scientific circles, is making a surprising comeback. 

Hormesis, the precautionary principle, and legal regulation

In case of doubt, follow the precautionary principle; until safety is established, be cautious; do not require unambiguous evidence.

“Hormesis”—An Inappropriate Extrapolation from the Specific to the Universal

The authors argue against indiscriminate application of hormesis in assessments of chemical risks for regulatory purposes and include well-established factors related to exposure and human susceptibility in risk assessments.

Science, hormesis and regulation

  • H. Douglas
  • Medicine
    Human & experimental toxicology
  • 2008
This paper argues that hormesis is not yet an acceptable basis for policy-making, and the regulatory agenda for chemical exposures is usually focused on protecting people from involuntary and potentially harmful exposures, rather than focused on maximizing public health benefits.

Hormesis: Transforming disciplines that rely on the dose response

This article tells the story of hormesis from its conceptual and experimental origins, its dismissal by the scientific and medical communities in the first half of the 20th century, and its

Micronutrients, Hormesis and the Aptitude for the Maturation of Regulation

The potential of hormesis as the default model to assess and manage chemicals is considered in relation to micronutrients and it is proposed that hormesis could in principle address the conundrum of basically all chemicals regulation.

Hormesis and toxic torts

If admissible, hormesis is likely to receive a fairer and more even-handed consideration than in regulatory decisions, where regulatory agencies are bound by policy-based default assumptions that limit their receptivity to new concepts such as hormesis.

Whatever Doesn’t Kill You Might Make You Stronger: Hormesis

Scientifically and scientifically, Selye (1936) discovered that if the organism is severely damaged by acute non-specific nocuous agents such as exposure to cold, surgical injury, production of spinal shock, excessive muscular exercise, or intoxications with sublethal doses of diverse drugs, a typical syndrome appears.

Hormesis in precautionary regulatory culture: models preferences and the advancement of science

The article demonstrates the excessive use of arguments based on adverse effects and underlines the necessity to take adaptive effects seriously, and includes the advice to EPA, not to follow the `witch hunt of synthetic chemicals' as embodied in the EU REACH program.

A case for deliberation in response to hormesis research

  • K. Elliott
  • Medicine
    Human & experimental toxicology
  • 2008
This commentary provides a tentative diagnosis in the case of hormesis research, recommending a varied deliberative approach, and argues for the importance of “diagnosing” whether controversial areas of policy relevant research would benefit from some form of deliberation.