Risk Assessment and Risk Communication
Over the last two decades, there has been an increasing focus on the potential threat of environmental exposures to human and ecological health, leading to the definition of risk assessment as a discipline.
- Assessing Cancer Risks from Exposures to Pollutants
- National Center for Environmental Assessment
- Risk Assessment Software and Databases
Related publications from the Ag Center
Risk Assessment and Risk Communication
More information from EPA
Exposure Factors Handbook
Wildlife Exposure Factors Handbook
Pesticide Risk Assessments
Superfund Risk Assessment
EPA Encourages States To Use Portal for Reporting Ecological Incidents
Assessing Cancer Risks from Exposures to Pollutants
In an effort to update key scientific risk assessment methodologies, EPA has published revised Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment. The Guidelines provide a framework to EPA scientists for assessing possible cancer risks from exposures to pollutants or other agents in the environment. They will also inform Agency decision makers and the public about these recommended procedures. Revisions to the Cancer Guidelines are intended to make greater use of the increasing scientific understanding of processes of cancer development.
National Center for Environmental AssessmentEPA's National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) serves as the national resource center for the overall process of human health and ecological risk assessments; the integration of hazard, dose-response, and exposure data; and models to produce risk characterizations.
NCEA continues to be a national leader in the field of risk analysis of human health and ecological effects, and this effort will continue to serve as a catalyst for NCEA's research program. Drawing on its experience in performing human health and ecological risk assessments, NCEA performs and supports scientific activities designed to improve future risk assessments. A major goal is to perform the research necessary to develop an accessible, seamless, common methodology for combined human health and ecological risk assessments, so that decision makers at all levels can have the integrated view of risk needed to make sound decisions.
Risk Assessment Software and Databases
- Environmental Information Management System (EIMS)
The Environmental Information Management System (EIMS) is a repository of knowledge about environmental projects, data, tools, and documents. Users can search within EIMS topically to find environmental information of interest. In addition to providing the information (metadata) that describes the products contained in the inventory, in many cases the specific products are available to be accessed with the click of a mouse.
- Health & Environmental Research Online (HERO) Database
HERO provides access to the scientific studies used in making key regulatory decisions, including EPA’s periodic review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six major pollutants. It is part of the open government directive to conduct business with transparency, participation, and collaboration. The publicly accessible HERO database provides an easy way to review the scientific literature behind EPA science assessments, which are used to support agency decision-making. The database includes more than 300,000 scientific articles including the authors, titles, dates, and abstracts. In addition, through a simple keyword search, anyone can see information from the articles that were used to develop specific risk assessments.
EPA is making it easier to find chemical information online. EPA is releasing a database called ToxRefDB, which allows scientists and the interested public to search and download thousands of toxicity testing results on hundreds of chemicals. ToxRefDB captures 30 years and $2 billion of testing results. ToxRefDB contains toxicity information that forms the basis for pesticide risk assessments when combined with other sources of information, such as those on exposure and metabolism.