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Waste and Cleanup Risk Assessment

Superfund Risk Assessment: Human Health: Risk Characterization

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In Risk Characterization, the information from Hazard Identification, Exposure Assessment, Dose-Response Assessment are summarized and integrated into quantitative and qualitative expressions of risk. To estimate potential noncarcinogenic effects, comparisons are made between projected intakes of substances and toxicity values; to estimate potential carcinogenic effects, probabilities that an individual will develop cancer over a lifetime of exposure are determined from projected intakes and chemical-specific dose-response information. Major assumptions, scientific judgments, and to the extent possible, estimates of the uncertainties embodied in the assessment are also presented.

Documents | External Links


  1. Part A: Baseline Risk Assessment (1989)
  2. 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
  3. Part B: Development of Risk-based Preliminary Remediation Goals (1991)
    Part C: Risk Evaluation of Remedial Alternatives (1991)
  4. Part D: Standardized Planning, Reporting and Review of Superfund Risk Assessments (2001)
  5. Part E: Supplemental Guidance for Dermal Risk Assessment (2004)
    Part F: Supplemental Guidance for Inhalation Risk Assessment (2009)
  6. The EPA/OSWER Office of Solid Waste (OSW) has developed an approach for conducting multi-pathway, site-specific human health risk assessments on hazardous waste combustion facilities. The technical approach presented in the combustion guidance may be useful when combustion risk is assessed on a Superfund site.
  7. EPA Guiding Principles on Monte Carlo Analysis
  8. Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund, Volume III, Probabilistic
  9. The following link contains information on addressing asbestos at Superfund sites
  10. Headquarters Consultation for Dioxin Sites (PDF) (2 pp, 31K,  About PDF) OSWER Directive 9200.4-19, December 13, 1996
    This document requests that CERCLA regional offices consult with EPA Headquarters on sites where remediation goals are to be developed for dioxin in soil.
  11. Approach for Addressing Dioxin in Soil and CERCLA and RCRA Sites (PDF) (6 pp, 43K,  About PDF) OSWER Directive 9200.4-26, April 13, 1998
    The purpose of this document is to recommend preliminary remediation goals (PRGs), or starting points for cleaning up dioxin in soil.
  12. EPA FAQ's about the Update to the ATSDR Policy Guideline for Dioxin and Dioxin-Like Compounds in Residential Soil (PDF) (6 pp, 39K,  About PDF)
  13. For lead risk assessment documents, please visit this webpage.
  14. EPA Radiation Risk Assessment Guidance for CERCLA Sites

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External Links

  1. Spatial Analysis and Decision AssistanceLink to EPA's External Link Disclaimer
    Spatial Analysis and Decision Assistance is a freeware program developed at the University of Tennessee with funding from EPA, NRC, and DOE that provides comprehensive risk assessment tools in a spatial modeling environment. Risk assessors can use SADA to perform traditional risk assessment PRG calculations, PRG screens, and forward human health calculations for one or more contaminants. Users have complete control over all toxicological data, physical properties, and landuse/pathway exposure parameters to create site specific risk assessments. In addition, the risk models are integrated with SADA's spatial analysis tools, decision frameworks,and sample design strategies allowing users drive a risk based characterization from a preliminary initial sample design through a final feasibility study. In addition, SADA allows users to import their own site or region specific screening or decision threshold values separately from SADA's own risk modeling tools.

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