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Mih527 Introduction to Environmental Health and Risk Assessment

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The concept of risk is the probability of an unwanted event which may or may not occur. Risk assessment is the overall process of identifying all the risks to and from an activity and assessing the potential impact of each risk. BBC News website, Radioactive warning on Fife beach read at [1] on 14 May 2006 - Sepa has been carrying out a risk assessment at the bay and now wants a detailed investigation to be carried out.
The determination of the potential impact of an individual risk by assessing both the likelihood that it will occur and the impact if it should occur, and then combining the result according to an agreed rule to give a single measure of potential impact. In order to determine the risks, a risk assessment can typically be completed in four basic steps.
The four basic steps are: hazard identification, exposure assessment, dose-response assessment, and risk characterization. Hazard identification is the process when scientists examine peer-reviewed studies of effects in humans, and laboratory animals, to determine the types of health problems a chemical can cause. Furthermore in this step there is an evaluation of the nature and strength of the evidence of causation between a chemical and its effect. In exposure assessment, scientists estimate the amount, frequency, and duration of exposure to a chemical. They often use environmental monitoring data and mathematical models to estimate exposures. Scientists also evaluate the route of exposure and any other scenario-specific exposure information.
Dose-response assessment is the process of scientists using the data gathered from hazard indemnification to estimate the amount of a chemical that is likely to result in a particular health effect. This step includes the evaluation of factors that influence dose-response relationships, such as intensity and pattern of exposure, and age and lifestyle…...

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