Risk analysis and management

Date of Original Version




Abstract or Description

During the past several decades, the public has given increasing attention to environmental problems and increased their demands that these problems be solved. During this period, the difficulty and costs of solving the problems have become apparent. Environmental abatement programs must be effective in achieving the desired goals and efficient in achieving them at low cost. Risk analysis is necessary to quantify the benefits of proposed solutions in order to make them effective and efficient. The necessity for performing risk assessment stems from a presidential executive order, from a Supreme Court Decision, and from the public's demand for information about the extent of possible danger from a hazard, rather than knowing simply that it is a hazard. The science of risk analysis is in an early stage and so there are many uncertainties concerning interpretation of the estimates. This approach has sharpened the scientific questions and hastened improvements in scientific understanding. Risk analysis is most helpful when the analysis reflects the science, without intrusion of the risk assessor's values or attempts to force a risk management outcome by skewing the risk analysis.





Published In

Science of The Total Environment , 99, 3, 235-242.