Providing the Missing Link: the Exposure Science Ontology ExO

Carolyn J. Mattingly, Thomas E. McKone, Michael A. Callahan, Judith A. Blake, Elaine A. Cohen Hubal
2012 Environmental Science and Technology  
Environmental health information resources lack exposure data required to translate molecular insights, elucidate environmental contributions to diseases, and assess human health and ecological risks. We report development of an Exposure Ontology, ExO, designed to address this information gap by facilitating centralization and integration of exposure data. Major concepts were defined and the ontology drafted and evaluated by a working group of exposure scientists and other ontology and database
more » ... experts. The resulting major concepts forming the basis for the ontology are "exposure stressor", "exposure receptor", "exposure event", and "exposure outcome". Although design of the first version of ExO focused on human exposure to chemicals, we anticipate expansion by the scientific community to address exposures of human and ecological receptors to the full suite of environmental stressors. Like other widely used ontologies, ExO is intended to link exposure science and diverse environmental health disciplines including toxicology, epidemiology, disease surveillance, and epigenetics.
doi:10.1021/es2033857 pmid:22324457 pmcid:PMC3314380 fatcat:t2iymydx7vawtmdwm6t2k3qpta