Potent Compound Corner

What is a DABT?

A DABT is an acronym for the professional designation Diplomate American Board of Toxicology, which is awarded to a person that has met certain educational, experience, and certification examination requirements in the scientific field of toxicology.

The qualification criteria, process, and certification examination is administered by the non-profit organization American Board of Toxicology (ABT). According to the ABT, the first DABT certification examination was given on August 4th, 1980. As of February, 2020 there are 2552 total active DABTs located in 29 countries.

The DABT Certification Examination is composed of five knowledge domains which are:

  • Design, Execute, and Interpret Toxicology Studies
  • Descriptive Toxicology: Environmental, Clinical, Non-clinical, and Forensic Investigations
  • Mechanistic Toxicology
  • Risk Assessment
    • Hazard Identification
    • Exposure Assessment
    • Dose Response Assessment
    • Risk Characterization and Management
    • Applied Toxicology: Public, Environmental, and Occupational Health

As with most professional designations, you will see the acronym DABT after a person’s name on business cards, professional reports, and email signature blocks.

Does someone need a DABT certification to author Health-based Exposure Limit (HBEL) reports?

For the purpose of occupational toxicology and the establishment of health-based exposure limits (HBELs), which include acceptable daily exposure limit or permitted daily exposure (PDE) reports, it is preferred that a DABT certified toxicologist and/or European Registered Toxicologist (ERT) review and approve all such reports. A DABT designation demonstrates that the person has the documentation to be considered a “qualified expert” in the field of toxicology, thus meeting the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-Operation Scheme (PIC/s) expectations for an “expert review” of such reports prior to their issuance. In addition, the recently released ASTM standard on Standard Guide For Derivation of Health Based Exposure Limits (HBELs) mentions DABT and ERT for the desired qualifications.

Published August 24, 2020

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