RA Paradigms

The risk assessment paradigm published in Risk Assessment in the Federal Government: Managing the Process (National Academy of Science [NAS] 1983), provides a useful system for organizing risk science information from these many different sources. In the last decade, the EPA has used the basic NAS paradigm as a foundation for its published risk assessment guidance and as an organizing system for many individual assessments. The paradigm defines four fields of analysis describing the use and flow of scientific information in the risk assessment process (Figure 11.8.3).

The following paragraphs detail those four fields of analysis. Each phase employs different parts of the information database. For example, hazard identification relies primarily on data from biological and medical sciences. Dose-response analysis uses these data in combination with statistical and mathematical modeling techniques, so that the second phase of the risk analysis builds on the first.

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