Skip to main content
Consensus Study Report


Risk assessments are often used by the federal government to estimate the risk the public may face from such things as exposure to a chemical or the potential failure of an engineered structure, and they underlie many regulatory decisions. Last January, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a draft bulletin for all federal agencies, which included a new definition of risk assessment and proposed standards aimed at improving federal risk assessments. This National Research Council report, written at the request of OMB, evaluates the draft bulletin and supports its overall goals of improving the quality of risk assessments. However, the report concludes that the draft bulletin is "fundamentally flawed" from a scientific and technical standpoint and should be withdrawn. Problems include an overly broad definition of risk assessment in conflict with long-established concepts and practices, and an overly narrow definition of adverse health effects—one that considers only clinically apparent effects to be adverse, ignoring other biological changes that could lead to health effects. The report also criticizes the draft bulletin for focusing mainly on human health risk assessments while neglecting assessments of technology and engineered structures.


Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 2007. Scientific Review of the Proposed Risk Assessment Bulletin from the Office of Management and Budget. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Import this citation to:

Publication Info

302 pages |  6 x 9 | 

  • Paperback:  978-0-309-10477-7
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-17888-4

Copyright Information

The National Academies Press (NAP) has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's Marketplace service to offer you a variety of options for reusing NAP content. Through Marketplace, you may request permission to reprint NAP content in another publication, course pack, secure website, or other media. Marketplace allows you to instantly obtain permission, pay related fees, and print a license directly from the NAP website. The complete terms and conditions of your reuse license can be found in the license agreement that will be made available to you during the online order process. To request permission through Marketplace you are required to create an account by filling out a simple online form. The following list describes license reuses offered by the NAP through Marketplace:

  • Republish text, tables, figures, or images in print
  • Post on a secure Intranet/Extranet website
  • Use in a PowerPoint Presentation
  • Distribute via CD-ROM
  • Photocopy

Click here to obtain permission for the above reuses. If you have questions or comments concerning the Marketplace service, please contact:

Marketplace Support
International +1.978.646.2600
US Toll Free +1.855.239.3415

To request permission to distribute a PDF, please contact our Customer Service Department at

loading iconLoading stats for Scientific Review of the Proposed Risk Assessment Bulletin from the Office of Management and Budget...