The Illusion of Certainty
This book provides an understanding and appreciation of the risk assessment process and the ability to objectively interpret health risk values. Included is an explanation of the uncertainty inherent in the assessment of risks as well as an explanation of how the communication and characterization of risks can dramatically alter the perception of those risks. Case studies illustrate the strengths and limitations of characterizing certain risks. Using the accepted risk assessment paradigm proposed by the National Research Council, these case studies illustrate which risk values have merit and why other assessments fail to meet basic criteria. Erik Rifkin is the president of an environmental consulting firm that specializes in the characterization of ecological and human health risks from exposure to soil, water, air and sediments. His firm provides assistance and guidance to federal and state regulatory agencies and corporations regarding the nature and magnitude of environmental risks and potential remediation strategies. Dr. Rifkin's broad experience includes the communication of health risks and benefits to groups concerned with these issues. Edward J. Bouwer is Professor of Environmental Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He has extensive experience with water and soil pollution and treatment. His research provides guidance on defining and managing environmental risks and how to interpret human and ecological health risk data. Dr. Bouwer has served on several National Research Council committees that provide guidance on managing human and ecological risks to Congress, regulatory agencies, and the scientific community.
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