Chapter

Risk Evaluation of Mercury Pollution

Joanna Burger and Michael Gochfeld

in Mercury in the Environment

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780520271630
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520951396 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520271630.003.0012
Risk Evaluation of Mercury Pollution

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Risk assessment is a method of evaluating harm from a stressor, such as mercury. Human risk assessment involves hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment, and risk characterization. Ecological risk assessment includes problem formulation, data acquisition and monitoring, and risk management. Both involve standardized paradigms, feedback loops, identification of data gaps, stakeholder inclusion, and environmental justice considerations. Methylmercury, the most toxic form, biomagnifies up the food chain. Risk evaluations include biomarkers, bioindicators, no observed or lowest observed adverse effect levels, benchmark doses, ecological screening quotients, and hazard quotients. Comparison values include minimum risk levels (ATSDR 0.3 μg/kg/day), reference doses (EPA 0.1 μg/kg/day), screening levels, and total maximum daily loads. Action levels or guidance include 0.3 μg/g (EPA fresh water quality), and 1 μg/g (U.S. FDA Action Level).

Keywords: risk assessment; risk evaluation; risk paradigms; stakeholder involvement; hazard identification; dose-response; exposure assessment; risk characterization; risk management; reference doses and action levels

Chapter.  21259 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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