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Oxford University Press makes no representation, express or implied, that the drug dosages in this book are correct. Readers must therefore always check the product information and clinical procedures with the most up to date published product information and data sheets provided by the manufacturers and the most recent codes of conduct and safety regulations. The authors and the publishers do not accept responsibility or legal liability for any errors in the text or for the misuse or misapplication of material in this work. Except where otherwise stated, drug dosages and recommendations are for the non-pregnant adult who is not breastfeeding.

Toxicology and risk assessment in the analysis and management of environmental risk

Chapter:
Toxicology and risk assessment in the analysis and management of environmental risk
Author(s):

Bernard D. Goldstein

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199218707.003.0056

Risk-based decision making increasingly has global dimensions, extending from the international management of chemical risks to the sustainable development of our planet. Environmental risk assessment is firmly based on toxicological sciences with input from other public health disciplines. Increasing understanding of how the human genotype and phenotype affects absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of external agents, including foods, is providing insight into answers to the oldest human question about disease: ‘Why me?’ The risk paradigm components of hazard assessment, dose–response analysis, exposure assessment, and risk characterization, and the toxicological concepts on which they are based, have proven durable in approaching increasingly complex environmental hazards. Newer approaches to managing risk, such as the precautionary principle, and newer challenges ranging from nanotechnology to the health impacts of global climate change, are necessitating more systematic thinking on how best to protect human health and the environment.

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