By John C. Bailar III, Jack Needleman, Barbara L. Berney, J. Michael McGinnis
Prepared under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services, this examination of the methodologies used in assessing health hazards offers important background on the rationale of risk assessment. It uses ten high profile risk areas to compare measurement approaches. There are challenges in the choice of what to assess and in what priority to give a particular human health risk in light of the array and diversity of health hazards. What methodology to employ in a given assessment also poses difficult decisions for researchers and for government policymakers, The latter must, of course, depend on sound qualitative and quantitative risk assessment to formulate appropriate risk management positions.