A Science-Based Agenda for Health-Protective Chemical Assessments and Decisions

Understanding, characterizing, and quantifying human exposures to environmental chemicals is critical to protect public health. Exposure assessments are key to determining risks to the general population and for specific subpopulations given that exposures differ between groups. Exposure data are also important for understanding where interventions, including public policies, should be targeted and the extent to which interventions have been successful. In this review, we aim to show how inadequacies in exposure assessments conducted by polluting industries or regulatory agencies have led to downplaying or disregarding exposure concerns raised by communities; that underestimates of exposure can lead regulatory agencies to conclude that unacceptable risks are, instead, acceptable, allowing pollutants to go unregulated; and that researchers, risk assessors, and policy makers need to better understand the issues that have affected exposure assessments and how appropriate use of exposure data can contribute to health-protective decisions.

Read the full article.