A Small Dose of Risk Assessment and Risk Management

  • An Introduction to Risk Assessment and Risk Management

Risk Assessment Dossier

Hazard x Exposure x Individual Sensitivity = Risk

  • "We should remember that risk assessment data can be like the captured spy: If you torture it long enough, it will tell you anything you want to know." - William Ruckelshaus, first administrator of U.S. EPA,1984
  • " In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.” - Principle 15: Rio Declaration 1992
  • Steps in risk assessment
    • Hazard Identification
    • Exposure Assessment
    • Dose-Response Assessment
    • Risk Characterization

Risk Assessment Chapter

PowerPoint Presentation

More Information and References

European, Asian, and International Agencies

  • EnviroLink: The Online Environmental Community. "The EnviroLink Network is a nonprofit organization founded in 1991. EnviroLink maintains a database of thousands of environmental resources and provides internet services to nonprofit organizations.
  • World Health Organization (WHO) Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Chemicals Assessment. "OECD assists member countries developing in and harmonizing methods for assessing such
  • National Institute for Environmental Studies. Center for Environmental Risk Research. The center aims to provide policy responsive research on improving assessment methods for environmental risk. (English and Japanese)

North American Agencies

  • US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Risk Assessment. NCEA goals are to apply "science to improve risk assessment and environmental decision making."
  • US National Cancer Institute (NCI). Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool. An interactive tool designed by scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to estimate a woman's risk of developing invasive breast cancer.
  • California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). Risk Assessment. "OEHHA is responsible for developing and providing risk managers in state and local government agencies with toxicological and medical information relevant to decisions involving public health."

Non-Government Organizations

  • Society for Risk Analysis (SRA). "SRA provides an open forum for all those who are interested in risk analysis. Risk analysis is broadly defined to include risk assessment, risk characterization, risk communication, risk management, and policy relating to risk."
  • The Science & Environmental Health Network. Precautionary Principle. SEHN advocates the wise application of science to protecting the environment and public health.


  • Nielsen, E., Ostergaard, G. and J. C. Larsen. Toxicological Risk Assessment of Chemicals: A Practical Guide. New York: Informa HealthCare, 2008.
  • O'Brien, M. Making Better Environmental Decisions: An Alternative to Risk Assessment. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000.


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