Risk assessment has become a dominant public policy tool for evaluating risks associated with exposures to chemicals. A standardized framework for conducting risk assessments, recommended by the National Academy of Sciences in 1983, has been widely adopted and used. Recently, at the request of the US EPA, a committee of the NAS reviewed the process and its nearly 30-year history of implementation, in light of recent scientific advances and long delays in completing risk assessments.The committee concluded that the risk assessment process was "bogged down" and needed significant overhaul to make it more responsive and incorporate contemporary science.
In May 2011 CHE hosted a call “Science and Decisions: How Can We Advance Risk Assessment?” primarily focused that report. This call was intended as a follow up that discussion. The three presenters on this call highlighted some of the recommendations as summarized in “Strengthening Toxic Chemical Risk Assessments to Protect Human Health” published in February 2012. Speakers also discussed the status of progress toward the implementation of the proposed recommendations, along with longer-term obstacles that remain in order to more accurately evaluate public health risk.
Featured speakers included:
Ted Schettler, MD, MPH, Science Director of CHE, and Science Director of the Science and Environmental Health Network (SEHN); Coordinator of CHE's Science Working Group
Gina Solomon, MD, MPH, has recently been appointed deputy secretary for science and health at the California Environmental Protection Agency. She has been a senior scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council since 1996 and a clinical professor of health sciences at the University of California, San Francisco since 2011.
Lauren Zeise, PhD, Chief, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), Reproductive and Cancer Hazard Assessment Branch
The call was moderated by Elise Miller, MEd, CHE Director.