Everything about risk assessment for environmental health

risk assessment for environmental health

It also includes a range of case studies drawn from different parts of the world, illustrating how risk assessment has been used in practice to inform decisions about environmental health.

Risk assessment has recently become a very controversial topic:

A woman standing on a sidewalk

With its application under close scrutiny by the public. Risk assessment is often used to help determine if exposures to environmental contaminants are harmful to human health, but there is growing concern about how it is applied and communicated. This guide aims to provide readers with some basic information about risk assessment and increase their understanding of the issues surrounding its use.

The guide was developed by WHO:

A cup of coffee on a table

To support environment and health practitioners, community leaders, educators, researchers, technical staff working in national or local government agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and UN bodies. It is intended for use by all those involved in making decisions that affect environmental quality and human health. The guide can also contribute to strengthening the science base for environmental decision-making, by identifying knowledge gaps and suggesting ways of filling them.

This guide is part of an ongoing process to develop guidance on integrated approaches to assessment and management of risks related to multiple stressors, which are often found in the same geographical area or environment. It is aimed at those who want to understand risk assessment, particularly as it applies to environmental health. The guide provides a comprehensive step-by-step process for conducting a risk assessment, from initial scoping and data collection through to final characterization of the risk and its communication.

The guide outlines the implications that using certain information may have for risk characterization and management. The examples used in the chapters are drawn from different parts of the world to illustrate how risk assessment has been used in practice to inform decisions about environmental health.

Although much information included in this document is applicable across a wide range of settings, it was developed for use primarily by professionals working within local or national government agencies who are responsible for managing the environment and human health. The guide is not meant to be used as a technical or scientific reference, but rather as a resource that provides an overview of risk assessment concepts and links them to environmental health. Furthermore, it presents several examples of how risk assessment can be used to enhance environmental decision-making with respect to human health protection.

The guide was developed through a global stakeholder engagement process. This included an extensive review of the existing literature on risk assessment, as well as consultations with environmental health professionals and others responsible for managing and using risk information to inform decisions about human health protection.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter