Risk assessment has become a dominant public policy tool for making choices, based on limited resources, to protect public health and the environment. It has been instrumental to the mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as other federal agencies in evaluating public health concerns, informing regulatory and technological decisions, prioritizing research needs and funding, and in developing approaches for cost-benefit analysis.
However, risk assessment is at a crossroads. Despite advances in the field, risk assessment faces a number of significant challenges including lengthy delays in making complex decisions; lack of data leading to significant uncertainty in risk assessments; and many chemicals in the marketplace that have not been evaluated and emerging agents requiring assessment.
Science and Decisions makes practical scientific and technical recommendations to address these challenges. This book is a complement to the widely used 1983 National Academies book, Risk Assessment in the Federal Government (also known as the Red Book). The earlier book established a framework for the concepts and conduct of risk assessment that has been adopted by numerous expert committees, regulatory agencies, and public health institutions. The new book embeds these concepts within a broader framework for risk-based decision-making. Together, these are essential references for those working in the regulatory and public health fields.
National Research Council. 2009. Science and Decisions: Advancing Risk Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/12209.
|2 Evolution and Use of Risk Assessment in the Environmental Protection Agency: Current Practice and Future Prospects||26-64|
|3 The Design of Risk Assessments||65-92|
|4 Uncertainty and Variability: The Recurring and Recalcitrant Elements of Risk Assessment||93-126|
|5 Toward a Unified Approach to Dose-Response Assessment||127-187|
|6 Selection and Use of Defaults||188-212|
|7 Implementing Cumulative Risk Assessment||213-239|
|8 Improving the Utility of Risk Assessment||240-257|
|9 Toward Improved Risk-Based Decision-Making||258-272|
|Appendix A: Biographic Information on the Committee on Improving Risk Analysis Approaches Used by the Environmental Protection Agency||273-280|
|Appendix B: Statement of Task of the Committee on Improving Risk Analysis Approaches Used by the Environmental Protection Agency||281-282|
|Appendix C: Timeline of Selected Environmental Protection Agency Risk-Assessment Activities||283-298|
|Appendix D: Environmental Protection Agency Response to Recommendations from Selected NRC Reports: Policy, Activity, and Practice||299-366|
|Appendix E: Environmental Protection Agency Program and Region Responses to Questions from the Committee||367-398|
|Appendix F: Case Studies of the Framework for Risk-Based Decision-Making||399-404|
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