Open Access Article

Title: US Environmental Protection Agency's framework for human health risk assessment to inform decision making

Authors: Julie Fitzpatrick; Rita Schoeny; Kathryn Gallagher; Kathleen Deener; Chris Dockins; Michael Firestone; William Jordan; Margaret McDonough; Deirdre Murphy; Marian Olsen; Kathleen Raffaele

Addresses: Risk Assessment Forum, Office of the Science Advisor, US Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20460, USA ' Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, 726 5th Street NE, Washington DC 20002, USA ' Chief Ecological Risk Assessment Branch, Office of Water, US Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20460, USA ' Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20460, USA ' National Center for Environmental Economics, Office of Policy, US Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20460, USA ' Office of Children's Health Protection, US Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20460, USA ' Office of Pesticide Programs, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, US Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20460, USA ' US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1, 5 Rock Slide Ct, Greenville, SC 29615, USA ' Office of Air and Radiation, US Environmental Protection Agency, 109 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA ' Emergency and Remedial Response Division, US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2, 290 Broadway, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10007, USA ' Office of Land and Emergency Management, US Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20460, USA

Abstract: The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a framework for human health risk assessment to inform decision making. The National Research Council, in Science and Decisions, recommended that EPA adopt a framework for risk-based decision making, which maximises the utility of risk assessment. The framework considers the NRC's recommendations and builds upon existing agency guidance by emphasising the need to design risk assessments to provide information most applicable to the decision-making process. The framework ties together existing human health guidance, is flexible to accommodate the range of assessments conducted across the agency as well as future advances in risk assessment science, and considers overarching themes including environmental justice and susceptible lifestage risk. The framework integrates the concepts of planning and scoping and problem formulation and provides for incorporation of stakeholder involvement and peer review.

Keywords: risk-based decision making; risk assessment design; risk assessment utility; US Environmental Protection Agency; human health risks; USA; United States; environmental justice; susceptible lifestage risk; planning; scoping; problem formulation; stakeholder involvement; peer review.

DOI: 10.1504/IJRAM.2017.082558

International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, 2017 Vol.20 No.1/2/3, pp.3 - 20

Available online: 27 Feb 2017 *