Risk Assessment: Extrapolation to Individual Risk

  • Renate D. Kimbrough
  • Philippe A. Grandjean
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 43)


Environmentally related disease is, in principle, preventable. Therefore, public health policies must be developed to minimize the risk from hazardous exposures which may be associated with some environmentally related diseases. An effort must be made to determine what the hazards of specific chemicals might be and how the hazards of one chemical compare with those of another. A variety of environmentally related factors are major determinants for human health: lifestyle (nutrition, smoking, etc.), exposure to infectious agents, and exposure to multiple chemicals and physical factors. However, it is extremely difficult to determine the health risk of low-level exposure to individual environmental pollutants and the impact that current preventive measures make on human health. For example, although a chemical exposure may theoretically cause some effect, in practice, at very low concentrations, many competing elements come into play, and the isolated contribution of individual chemicals to adverse health effects may appear to be of no consequence. Thus, the relationship between human health and environmental pollutants is extremely complex. Further, this relationship becomes even more complicated when considering its health significance on an individual level.


Risk Assessment Heart Attack Chemical Exposure Organophosphorus Compound Hepatic Microsomal Enzyme 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renate D. Kimbrough
    • 1
  • Philippe A. Grandjean
    • 1
  1. 1.Centers for Disease Control, Public Health ServiceU. S. Department of Health and Human ServicesAtlantaUSA

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