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Types of Integration in Risk Assessment and Management, And Why They Are Needed

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Risk-based decision making requires that the decision makers and stakeholders are informed of all risks that are potentially significant and relevant to the decision. The International Programme on Chemical Safety of the World Health Organization has developed a framework for integrating the assessment of human health and ecological risks. However, other types of integration are needed to support particular environmental decisions. They are integration of exposure and effects, of multiple chemicals and other hazardous agents, of multiple routes of exposure, of multiple endpoints, multiple receptors, multiple spatial and temporal scales, a product's life cycle, management alternatives, and socioeconomics with risk assessment. Inclusion of all these factors in an integrated assessment could lead to paralysis by analysis. Therefore, it is important that assessors be cognizant of the decision process and that decision makers and those who will influence the decision (stakeholders) be involved in planning the assessment to ensure that the degree of integration is necessary and sufficient.

Keywords: data quality objectives; ecological risk assessment; integration; risk assessment

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/713609864

Affiliations: 1: National Center for Environmental Assessment, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 26 W. Martin L. King Drive, MS-117, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA 2: National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Narraganset, RI, USA 3: Division of Information on Chemical Safety, National Institute of Health Science, Tokyo, Japan

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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