Improving Risk Assessments

In a presentation to the American Public Health Association, Lawrie Mott, Senior Scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council, suggested several improvements on risk assessment to more accurately reflect children''s real world experiences and provide information to direct efforts to reduce risk.

The following are the suggestions put forward:

1. Risk assessments should be done from the perspective of the most exposed child. By taking this child into account, the most conservative risk assessment should be developed.

2. Risk assessments must incorporate children''s multiple routes of exposure to a single compound and cumulative exposure to chemicals with a common mechanism of toxicity.

3. Risk assessments must take into account children''s differential exposure and susceptibility to environmental hazards.

4. Where data are not available on any of the exposure or susceptibility components, health-protective standard default assumptions should be used.

5. Risk assessments must be easily available and understandable to the public. Consumers have a right to know about the risks they face.

  Record #21, revised 1/3/2001


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