Environmental Risk Assessment : A Toxicological Approach book cover
1st Edition

Environmental Risk Assessment
A Toxicological Approach

ISBN 9781138033832
Published November 16, 2016 by CRC Press
406 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The purpose of risk assessment is to support science-based decisions about how to solve complex societal problems. The problems we face in the twenty-first century have many social, political, and technical complexities. Environmental risk assessment in particular is of increasing importance as a means of seeking to address the potential effects of chemicals in the environment in both the developed and developing world.

Environmental Risk Assessment: A Toxicological Approach examines various aspects of problem formulation, exposure, toxicity, and risk characterization that apply to both human health and ecological risk assessment. The book is aimed at the next generation of risk assessors and students who need to know more about developing, conducting, and interpreting risk assessments. It delivers a comprehensive view of the field, complete with sufficient background to enable readers to probe for themselves the science underlying the key issues in environmental risk. Written in an engaging and lively style by a highly experienced risk assessment practitioner, the text:

  • Introduces the science of risk assessment—past, present, and future
  • Covers problem formation and the development of exposure factors
  • Explains how human epidemiology and animal testing data are used to determine toxicity criteria
  • Provides environmental sampling data for conducting practice risk assessments
  • Examines the use of in vitro and ‘omics methods for toxicity testing
  • Describes the political and social aspects of science-based decisions in the twenty-first century
  • Includes fully worked examples, case studies, discussion questions, and links to legislative hearings

Readers of this volume will not only learn how to execute site-specific human health and ecological risk assessments but also gain a greater understanding of how science is used in deciding environmental regulations.

Table of Contents


Risk Assessment Paradigm from the 1983 Redbook-"Risk Assessment in the Federal Government: Managing the Process"

Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund (RAGS) Part A 1989

The Interface of Risk Assessment and Risk Management

History of Risk Assessment in the US from 1990 to 2010

Risk Communication and Stakeholder Participation

Risk Assessment Policy and the Role of Science

How Risk is Perceived and Expressed

Actuarial Risk

Predicted Risk

Perceived Risk

Risk Estimates for Regulation

Uncertainty in Risk Estimates

Uncertainty in Risk Management and the Precautionary Principle

Human Health Exposure Assessment

What are Receptors?

How are Receptors Exposed to Environmental Stressors?

Human Exposure Assessment

Assessing Exposure Factors and Data

Issues to Be Considered When Performing an Exposure Assessment

The Concentration Term

Fate and Transport Models

Accounting For Uncertainty In Exposure Factors

Toxicity Assessment for Human Health Risk Assessment

Mode of Action and General Aspects of Toxicity

Homeostasis and Thresholds

Historical Perspective on Toxicity Testing

Timescale and Nature of Adverse Effects

Dose-Response Assessment

Low Dose Extrapolation-Two Types of Toxicity Factors

Computational Methods in Toxicity Assessment


Accounting For Uncertainty in Toxicity Factors

Toxicity Factors for Regulation

Risk Characterization

Hazard Quotient for Threshold Effects

Risk Estimation for Non-Threshold Effects

Cumulative and Aggregate Risk

The Possibility of Compounding Conservatism in Both Exposure and Toxicity

The Precautionary Principle

Utility of Risk Characterization for Decision Making

Ecological Risk Assessment

Statutory Aspects of ERA at EPA and the Role of Natural Resource Trustees


Ecological Risk Assessment as Practiced By EPA

Methodology for ERA under REACH

Science Policy of ERA

The Future of Risk Assessment

In Vitro Testing and ‘Omics-Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century

Science and Decisions: Advancing Risk Assessment

Recommendations for Improving IRIS in the 2011 NAS Review of the Formaldehyde Risk Assessment

Possible Future Scenarios for Risk Assessment: Scientific, Social and Political Factors in Societal Decision Making

Appendix A: Useful Methods and Algorithms for Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA)

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Ted Simon, DABT earned advanced degrees in biology, including a Ph.D from Georgia State University, Atlanta, USA. After college, he held post-doctoral and teaching positions before serving as senior toxicologist in the Waste Management Division at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 4, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. His critically successful novel, A Lost Gun, was published under the nom de plume Wix Simon. He is currently working on another crime novel featuring an environmental poisoning situation inspired by his twelve years at the EPA. He also provides toxicology consulting and scientific support as principal/owner of Ted Simon LLC, Winston, Georgia, USA.


"It delivers a comprehensive view of the field, complete with sufficient background to enable readers to probe for themselves the science underlying the key issues in environmental risk."
International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry

"This is an excellent book providing a text and reference that will enable students of risk assessment to approach the future with confidence about the state of their knowledge. Readers of this book will … gain a greater understanding of how science is used in deciding environmental regulation."
—Journal of Environmental Science and Health Part B