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Introduction

  • John Doull
Part of the Life Science Monographs book series (LSMO)

Abstract

Most regulators have long recognized the conceptual distinction between risk assessment and risk management and have utilized both concepts in establishing tolerances and standards for protecting human health. In 1983, these concepts were redefined and expanded by a National Research Council committee in a report entitled, Risk Assessment in the Federal Government: Managing the Process (National Research Council, 1983). In this report, risk assessment was considered to include some or all of the following four steps: hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment, and risk characterization. Risk management was defined as the process of weighing policy alternatives and selecting the most appropriate regulatory action, and integrating the results of risk assessment with engineering data and with social, economic, and political concerns to reach a decision. More recently, a third concept has been added to the process: risk communication (Thomas, 1986). These developments have had a significant impact on the role of the toxicologist in the decision-making process and focused attention on the interactions among science, law, and regulation in the arena of safety assessment. It has been suggested, in fact, that a Risk Institute is needed to investigate the scientific and policy aspects of the total process and determine the appropriate contributions of all involved parties (Press, 1984).

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Doull
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutics, College of Health SciencesUniversity of KansasKansas CityUSA

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