Risk Analysis for Environmental Health Triage [electronic resource].
- Washington, D.C. : United States. Dept. of Energy, 2005.
Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy.
- Physical Description:
- PDF-file: 30 pages; size: 0.6 Mbytes
- Additional Creators:
- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
United States. Department of Energy
United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- The Homeland Security Act mandates development of a national, risk-based system to support planning for, response to and recovery from emergency situations involving large-scale toxic exposures. To prepare for and manage consequences effectively, planners and responders need not only to identify zones of potentially elevated individual risk, but also to predict expected casualties. Emergency response support systems now define ''consequences'' by mapping areas in which toxic chemical concentrations do or may exceed Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGLs) or similar guidelines. However, because AEGLs do not estimate expected risks, current unqualified claims that such maps support consequence management are misleading. Intentionally protective, AEGLs incorporate various safety/uncertainty factors depending on scope and quality of chemical-specific toxicity data. Some of these factors are irrelevant, and others need to be modified, whenever resource constraints or exposure-scenario complexities require responders to make critical trade-off (triage) decisions in order to minimize expected casualties. AEGL-exceedance zones cannot consistently be aggregated, compared, or used to calculate expected casualties, and so may seriously misguide emergency response triage decisions. Methods and tools well established and readily available to support environmental health protection are not yet developed for chemically related environmental health triage. Effective triage decisions involving chemical risks require a new assessment approach that focuses on best estimates of likely casualties, rather than on upper plausible bounds of individual risk. If risk-based consequence management is to become a reality, federal agencies tasked with supporting emergency response must actively coordinate to foster new methods that can support effective environmental health triage.
- Published through SciTech Connect.
Risk Analysis, vol. 25, no. 5, October 1, 2005, pp. 1085-1095 FT
Bogen, K T.
- Funding Information:
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