Using R in regulatory toxicology


  • Felix M. Kluxen ADAMA Deutschland GmbH, Edmund-Rumpler-Str. 6, 51149 Köln/Cologne, Deutschland/Germany. Tel.:+49 (2203) 5039-533; E-Mail:
  • Signe M. Jensen Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark



regulatory toxicology, statistics, continued education, software tutorial, R


Statistical analyses are an essential part of regulatory toxicological evaluations. While projects would be ideally monitored by both toxicologists and statisticians, this is often not possible in practice. Hence, toxicologists should be trained in some common statistical approaches but also need a tool for statistical evaluations. Due to transparency needed in regulatory processes and standard tests that can be evaluated with template approaches, the freely available open-source statistical software R may be suitable. R is a well-established software in the statistical community. The principal input method is via software code, which is both benefit and weakness of the tool. It is increasingly used by regulating authorities globally and can be easily extended by software packages, e.g., for new statistical functions and features. This manuscript outlines how R can be used in regulatory toxicology, allowing toxicologists to perform all regulatory required data evaluations in a single software solution. Practical applications are shown in case studies on simulated and experimental data. The examples cover a) Dunnett testing of treatment groups against a common control and in relation to a biological relevance threshold, assessing the test’s assumptions and plotting the results; b) dose-response analysis and benchmark dose derivation for chronic kidney inflammation as a function of Pyridine; and c) graphical/exploratory data analysis of previously published developmental neurotoxicity data for Chlorpyrifos.




How to Cite

Kluxen, F. M., & Jensen, S. M. (2022). Using R in regulatory toxicology. EXCLI Journal, 21, 1130–1150.