John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé

Improvements in procedures for health risk assessment: Contribution of the Health Risk Assessment Methodology section of the French Society for Environmental Health Volume 10, issue 2, Mars-Avril 2011

Authors
EHESP Avenue du Professeur Léon-Bernard CS 74312 35043 Rennes cedex France, IRSET Inserm U625 Université de Rennes 1 Campus de Beaulieu 263, av. du Gal Leclerc Bâtiment 13 35042 Rennes, France
  • Key words: health risk assessment, environment, environmental health, public health
  • DOI : 10.1684/ers.2011.0435
  • Page(s) : 142-6
  • Published in: 2011

Environmental health risk assessment is commonly used in France for risk management purposes. The Methodology section of the “Société française de santé environnement” (French Society for Environmental Health) seeks to improve the utility and implementation of risk assessment in France. An initial operational objective is to make a list of short-, intermediate- and long-term improvements. This inventory is based in part on the experience and expertise of society members in this area and in part on their analysis of “Science and Decisions: Advancing Risk Assessment” (National Research Council 2009). In this paper, the Society recommends modifications in the indications for and use of risk assessments, during each of the four stages of the process: hazard identification and dose-response assessment, exposure assessment, risk characterization, and results interpretation. Some may be implemented now, while others need consensus building or research because of gaps in knowledge. Environmental health risk assessment must be understood as a decision tool for risk management in situations of uncertainly. Thus, appropriate linkage is required between decision making and assessment, and between the methods and the expected results.