The Use of Data on Biologically Reactive Intermediates in Risk Assessment

  • J. Robert Buchanan
  • Christopher J. Portier
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 387)


As defined by the US National Academy of Sciences (1994), risk assessment is “the evaluation of scientific information on the hazardous properties of environmental agents and on the extent of human exposure to those agents”. The goal of risk assessment is a scientifically defensible regulatory exposure level (Pease et al., 1991). The eventual product of any risk assessment should be the probability that populations exposed to the agent will be harmed and to what degree. In achieving this goal, three rather disjoint elements must cooperate and attempt to understand each other; science, politics and policy. The scientific element of risk assessment is usually divided into the three basic categories of hazard identification, dose-response modeling and risk characterization. Hazard identification is the process of determining if there exists a health risk from exposure to an agent and determining that there is exposure to the same agent. Dose-response modeling then uses the available data on exposure and hazard to quantify the risk for varying levels of exposure. Risk characterization concludes the scientific component of the risk assessment by summarizing the degree of risk in populations exposed to the agent.


Risk Assessment Reactive Intermediate PBPK Model Biologically Effective Dose Quantitative Risk Assessment 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Robert Buchanan
    • 1
  • Christopher J. Portier
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Quantitative and Computational BiologyNational Institute of Environmental Health SciencesUSA

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