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CTSA - Chapter 6 - Risk

Cleaner Technologies Substitutes Assessment

This chapter presents module descriptions for the risk-related component of a CTSA, including the following analytical modules:

Data from the Workplace Practices & Source Release Assessment module combine with data from the Chemical Properties and Environmental Fate Summary modules to provide the foundation for the Exposure Assessment module. Data from the Exposure Assessment module then combine with data from the Human Health Hazards Summary and Environmental Hazards Summary modules to characterize risks in the Risk Characterization module.

Data from all three of these modules flow into the final trade-off evaluations presented in Chapter 10. For example, the source and quantities of environmental releases from the Workplace Practices & Source Release Assessment module are qualitatively evaluated in the Social Benefits/Costs Assessment module for the effects of pollution on health, recreation, productivity, and other social welfare issues. The social benefits of reduced risk are considered more quantitatively using data from the Risk Characterization module.

The Exposure Assessment module provides the amounts of environmental releases that were not quantified in the Workplace Practices & Source Release Assessment module (e.g., solvent emissions from open containers that were modeled during the Exposure Assessment) to the Risk, Competitiveness & Conservation Data Summary module for evaluation with the other release data. It also provides an evaluation of the potential for exposure (e.g., high, medium, or low) by different pathways (e.g., ingestion, inhalation, dermal) to the Risk, Competitiveness & Conservation Data Summary module. Past CTSAs have used exposure levels as an indicator of the potential for risk when health and environmental hazard data are not available.

The Risk Characterization module provides human health and ecological risk data to the Risk, Competitiveness & Conservation Data Summary module for evaluation in the Social Benefits/Costs Assessment and Decision Information Summary modules. The former module considers the social benefits of reduced risk and folds these benefits into an overall evaluation of the net benefits (or costs) to society of a substitute. The Decision Information Summary module presents the risk data directly in the final trade-off evaluations where individual decision-makers consider all of the issues to choose the alternative that best fits their particular situation.

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