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Environmental Assessment

Guidelines for Exposure Assessment

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The Guidelines for Exposure Assessment describe the general concepts of exposure assessment including definitions and associated units, and by providing guidance on the planning and conducting of an exposure assessment. Guidance is also provided on presenting the results of the exposure assessment and characterizing uncertainty. Although these Guidelines focus on exposures of humans to chemical substances, much of the guidance also pertains to assessing wildlife exposure to chemicals, or human exposures to biological, noise, or radiological agents. The Guidelines include a glossary which helps standardize terminology used by the Agency in exposure assessment. They emphasize that exposure assessments done as part of a risk assessment need to consider the hazard identification and dose-response parts of the risk assessment in the planning stages of the exposure assessment so that these three parts can be smoothly integrated into the risk characterization. The Guidelines discuss and reference a number of approaches and tools for exposure assessment, along with discussion of their appropriate use. The Guidelines also stress that exposure estimates along with supporting information will be fully presented in Agency risk assessment documents, and that Agency scientists will identify the strengths and weaknesses of each assessment by describing uncertainties, assumptions, and limitations, as well as the scientific basis and rationale for each assessment.

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John Schaum
  • by phone at:   703-347-8637
  • by email at:  schaum.john@epa.gov

Citation

U.S. EPA. Guidelines for Exposure Assessment. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Risk Assessment Forum, Washington, DC, EPA/600/Z-92/001, 1992.

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