Risk assessment: The perspective and experience of U.S. environmentalists

E. K. Silbergeld

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Risk assessment is a set of decision rules widely used in the United States for identifying and quantifying the risks of chemicals and other events for adverse effects to human health, usually cancer. Scientific criticism has been directed toward the default assumptions and test methods used in risk assessment by regulatory agencies. This paper evaluates the contribution of risk assessment as an instrument of public policy toward the timely and efficient resolution of controversial issues in environmental and occupational health. Experience with risk assessment during the past decade does not support its utility in this regard. Alternatives to risk assessment in its current formulation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-104
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental health perspectives
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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