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Waste and Cleanup Risk Assessment

Human Health: Exposure Assessment

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Exposure Assessment is the estimation (qualitative or quantitative) of the magnitude, frequency, duration, and route of exposure. Exposure occurs when there are complete pathways between a chemical or physical agent and humans. Exposure assessments may consider past, present, and future exposures using varying assessment techniques. This may include fate and transport models or the results of environmental sampling and analysis. The exposure assessment process includes the following steps: (1) characterize exposure setting, (2) identify exposure pathways, and (3) quantify exposure.

Documents | EPA Links


  1. Cumulative Risk Assessment Guidance-Phase I Planning and Scoping
    Guidance on Cumulative Risk Assessment. Part 1. Planning and Scoping

    First link is to memo directing use of this guidance and second link is directly to the guidance. This guidance directs each office to take into account cumulative risk issues in scoping and planning major risk assessments and to consider a broader scope that integrates multiple sources, effects, pathways, stressors and populations for cumulative risk analyses in all cases for which relevant data are available.
  2. The EPA Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics has developed software in its Estimation Program Interface ("EPI") which provides physical and chemical properties on contaminants.
  3. Exposure Factor Handbook
    The Handbook provides a summary of the available statistical data on various factors used in assessing human exposure.
  4. The EPA National Center for Environmental Assessment's 2008 Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook
  5. Summary Report of a Peer Involvement Workshop on the Development of an Exposure Factors Handbook for the Aging, February 2007
  6. Human Health Evaluation Manual (PDF) (14 pp, 75K, About PDF) Supplemental Guidance, Standard Default Exposure Factors OSWER Directive 9285.6-03 June 25, 1991
  7. For lead risk assessment documents, please visit this webpage.
  8. New Policy on Evaluating Health Risks to Children From Administrator Carole Browner to: Assistant Administrators, General Counsel, Inspector General, Associate Administrators and Regional Administrators (October 20, 1995).
  9. Radiation Risk Assessment Guidance (PDF) (37 pp, 1MB, About PDF)
    This chapter provides supplemental baseline risk assessment guidance for use at sites contaminated with radioactive substances that are included on the National Priorities List (NPL).
  10. Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund, Volume I
    Part A (1989)
    Part B (1991)
    Part C (1991)
    Part D (2001)
    Part E (2004)
    Part F (2009)
    Supplement to Part A: Community Involvement in Superfund Risk Assessments (1999)
    The purpose of this guidance document is to provide the site team--risk assessor, remedial project manager (RPM), and community involvement coordinator--with information to improve community involvement in the Superfund risk assessment process.
  11. Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund, Volume I: Human Health Evaluation Manual (PDF) (28 pp, 133K, About PDF) Supplemental Guidance, Standard Default Exposure Factors, OSWER Directive 9285.6-03, Interim Final, March 25, 1991
  12. Vapor Intrusion Guidance
    OSWER Draft Guidance for Evaluating the Vapor Intrusion to Indoor Air Pathway from Groundwater and Soils (Subsurface Vapor Intrusion Guidance). Provides current technical and policy recommendations on determining if the vapor intrusion pathway poses an unacceptable risk to human health at cleanup sites.
  13. Region/ORD Workshop on Inhalation Risk Assessment: A Superfund Focus, Summary Report, September 9-12, 2003 (PDF) (68 pp, 618K, About PDF)
  14. EPA Superfund's "Process for Conducting Probabilistic Risk Assessment, RAGS Volume III, Part A December 2001, EPA 540-R-02-002
  15. EPA Radiation Risk Assessment Guidance for CERCLA Sites
  16. Additional Information from EPA's National Center for Environmental Assessment on Probabilistic Risk Assessment

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EPA Links

  1. US EPA National Center for Environmental Assessment, Guide to Current Literature on Exposure Factors
    Web site summarizing sources of latest information on exposure factors.

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