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Environmental Carcinogens and Regulation
PRESTON, J. Environmental Carcinogens and Regulation. Chapter 1, Simon J Wood (ed.), Encyclopedia of Environmental Health. Elsevier: Oxford, OXFORD, Uk, , 327–335, (2011).
Book chapter in Encyclopedia of Environmental Health
The history of chemical carcinogenis, involving both environmental and occupational exposures, covers a thousand or more years. In contrast, the regulation of such exposures has a much shorter history, covering about a hundred years in one form or another; with the more rigorous process currently employed being initiated about 50 years ago. It is perhaps surprising that even though there were very clear and severe adverse health outcomes associated with exposure to scientific chemicals or mixtures, the approach used to reduce the level of such outcomes was avoidance of exposure rather than reduction in exposure levels themselves. The path to a formal regulatory framework has been a difficult one, inevitably involving the debate on just what is “a safe level of exposure” and what is “an acceptable risk.” This chapter will provide some discussion of how regulatory standards that are protective against risk are set currently, and might in the future be established. Such a discussion is built on the premise that at least for cancer, regulatory decisions (within the U.S. EPA and other international organizations) are based largely on quantitative risk assessment.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (BOOK CHAPTER)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR HEALTH