You probably know how important risk assessment is when evaluating putative chemical hazards. But it might surprise you to learn that toxicologists often misapply widely accepted risk assessment techniques.
You probably know how important risk assessment is when evaluating putative chemical hazards. But it might surprise you to learn that toxicologists often misapply widely accepted risk assessment techniques. That’s exactly what researchers with the http://www.cmpa.com/ (CMPA) at George Mason University found when they interviewed 186 members of the three leading professional societies in toxicology and risk assessment.
According to the CMPA’s report, http://op.bna.com/env.nsf/id/rlen-9e5rk6/$File/GMU-Study-Document4.pdf, toxicologists routinely make the following five mistakes when conducting risk assessments:
The CMPA’s findings confirm the importance of proper risk assessment methodologies, but reveal how seldom such methodologies are appropriately applied. These failures explain why we often see opposing expert witnesses formulate conclusions based on hasty and superficial evaluations. We’re often called on to help attorneys in toxic tort cases push back against opposing experts on methodological grounds.
The following sources, which discuss risk assessment methodologies, can be helpful when confronting opposing experts:
* Presentations from the August 2013 EPA workshop, “http://www.epa.gov/iris/irisworkshops/systematicreview/wrk_agenda.htm”
* The European Food Safety Authority’s 2010 publication, “Application of systematic review methodology to food and feed safety assessment to support decision making”
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