The Potential Role of Geographical Information Systems Technology in Air Toxics Risk Assessment, Communication and Management
The California Air Toxics“Hot Spots” Information and Assessment Act of 1987 (Assembly Bill 2588) requires statewide implementation of a programme to identify carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic health risks associated with air toxics emitted by industry. Some of the programme’s immediate objectives are to assess the health risks associated with the total emissions from each regulated facility, to identify the degree of public exposure and to notify any public potentially exposed to significant risk levels. The extent of the database will also allow regulatory agencies to eventually develop and evaluate risk management strategies. This chapter discusses the application of a geographic information system (GIS) during the preparation of an Assembly Bill 2588 multipathway air toxics health risk assessment. A case study provides insight on the development of a health risk assessment database and system integration with dispersion and risk assessment modelling elements. The value and potential of a GIS in the data analysis and management throughout the risk assessment process are emphasized. Finally, the potential use of a GIS to communicate risk and assess cumulative (regional) impacts for risk management decision-making is addressed.
KeywordsGeographic Information System Health Risk Assessment Geographic Information System Technology Receptor Grid Excess Cancer Risk
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