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Chapter 9: New Directions

Chapter 9: New Directions


The final chapter of the book looks at the issues that need to be addressed for ERA to become a more effective environmental management tool. Many problems with ERA have been raised in the text and a number of international and national programmes are aimed at addressing these. The focus of these international programmes is chemical risk assessment, but it is clear that the major problems that beset chemical risk assessment apply to the assessment of biological and radiation risks to a greater or lesser extent.


The major issues in environmental risk assessment (ERA) and environmental risk management are dealt with separately, with recognition that this is a somewhat artificial distinction.


The following issues are discussed:


Risk Assessment:

  • Harmonisation of risk assessment methods
  • Data deficiencies and gaps
  • Harmonisation of test protocols for chemicals
  • Understanding of mixtures or multiple stressors
  • Improvement of exposure assessment
  • Internationally harmonised assessment factors
  • Speeding up risk assessments

Risk Management:

  • Development of explicit methodologies for risk management
  • Increased transparency of decision-making
  • Peer review of risk management assessments
  • Increased participation in risk management



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