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Risk Assessment, Chemical Exposures, Cumulative Impacts

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Dunn AJ, Alexeeff GV. Beyond risk assessment: principles for assessing community impacts. Int J Toxicol. 2010 Jan-Feb;29(1):78-87. doi: 10.1177/1091581809352690. Epub 2009 Dec 3. PMID: 19959838.


Risk assessment methods have evolved over time to become better at evaluating risks associated with single chemical exposures, yet are limited in evaluating risks faced by communities with exposures to a range of chemical hazards via multiple routes. Recognizing the need to identify better approaches to assess disparate impacts facing certain populations due to environmental pollution, the authors evaluated activities within the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (in California's Environmental Protection Agency) that had begun addressing these concerns by moving beyond standard risk assessment practices. On the basis of these examples, the authors identify 4 overarching principles to guide community assessments and explore how their application can improve these assessments. More work is needed in several areas, including developing information on exposure differences due to cultural practices, lifestyle patterns, and other factors; developing methods to recognize and take into account increased susceptibility; developing tools for assessing cumulative impacts; and improving communication with communities.


Dunn AJ, Alexeeff GV.

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