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Durreesamin Journal (ISSN: 2204-9827)

March Vol 4 Issue 1, Year 2018

NAME: AFORTU-OFRE MATHIAS OFRE

STUDENT ID: UD48960HPU57894

COURSE: ENVIRONMENTAL AND OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND RISK

ASSESSMENT

ESSAY TOPIC: ENVIRONMENTAL AND OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND RISK

ASSESSMENT

ATLANTIC INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY


HONOLULU, HAWAII

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DECEMBER 2017

Table of Contents

Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 3
Environmental Risk Assessment ..................................................................................... 3
Using Risk Assessment in Environmental Management ................................................. 4
Problem Formulation in Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) .................................... 5
The Benefits of Good Problem Formulation in Environmental Risk Assessment ............ 5
Aspects of the Problem Formulation that Must Be Dialogued with Stakeholders ............ 6
Framing the Questions .................................................................................................... 6
Developing a Conceptual Model ..................................................................................... 7
Planning the Risk Assessment ........................................................................................ 8
Screening the Risks ........................................................................................................ 8
Hazard Identification and Exposure Assessment ............................................................ 9
Other tests..................................................................................................................... 10
Exposure Assessment................................................................................................... 10
Purpose ......................................................................................................................... 11
Scope ............................................................................................................................ 11
Level of Detail ............................................................................................................... 11
Approach ....................................................................................................................... 11
Risk Characterization .................................................................................................... 11
Environmental Health Risk Characterization: Major Principles ...................................... 12
Risk Estimation ............................................................................................................. 13
Threshold Risk Estimation ............................................................................................. 13
Community Engagement ............................................................................................... 14
Reviewing and Appraising of Environmental Risk Assessment Report ......................... 16
Strategies for Sampling the Environment ...................................................................... 16
Sampling Methodologies ............................................................................................... 17
Sampling Patterns ......................................................................................................... 17

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Sampling Density .......................................................................................................... 17


Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 17
References .................................................................................................................... 19

Introduction
This essay focuses on environmental and occupational health and risk assessment.
Issues to be analyzed include environmental risk assessment, problem formulation and
scope. Other issues are hazard identification and exposure assessment and risk
characterization. The rest include community engagement and the reviewing and
appraising of environmental risk assessment report.

Environmental Risk Assessment


The process of estimating the possibility/likelihood of serious result or event because of
the pressures or changes in environmental conditions emanating from activities of
humans is called environmental risk assessment. It supports the techniques that are used
in state of Environment Reporting (SOE), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as
well as risk management. The strategy includes identification, analysis as well as
presentation of information with regard to risk environmental values to inform planning as
well as decision making process; it does not have to give all social as well as economic
information important to making decision nor is the strategy meant to usurp planning as
well as management (env.gov.bc.ca).

Environmental Risk Assessment is a flexible tool which can be used at various scales as
well as level of detail right to these scales, different issues on the environment ( for
example, from wildlife to water), varied levels of funding (i.e. for swift overview to in-depth
comprehensive) and for short, medium or long-term time scales. An assessment of the
interactions between management regimes as well as environmental values is at the
heart of Environmental Risk Assessment. Consequently, the assessment as well as
reporting of risk to environmental values can be employed to identify risk reduction
mechanisms.

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Environmental Risk Assessment is premised on comparison of indicators of


environmental values over time. Present circumstances are weighed against historic
“natural” levels of variation as well as predicted future levels informed by varied
management scenarios. Assessment of environmental circumstances as well as
indicators is summed up with regard to “risk index.” Evaluation/assessment of
environmental circumstances as well as indicators is summed up in terms of a “risk index”.
The steps in Environmental Risk Assessment are: i) Establish the context for
Environmental Risk Assessment, ii) identify and characterize major environmental risk
pressures, iii) specify environmental values and indicators for Environmental Risk
Assessment, iv) characterize environmental trends, indicators relationships and establish
risk classes, v) evaluate changes to indicators and risks, vi) report results and develop
risk reduction strategies.

Using Risk Assessment in Environmental Management


Techniques of risk assessment and management are used in policy and regulatory
decisions. Strategies of risk assessment and management to environmental issues are
being used now and then at all levels of policy as well as regulation. The strategies are
applied in several ways including the design of regulation. It is used, for example, in
measuring societal “acceptable” risk levels that may form the basis of environmental
standards. It is also used in the provision of basis for site-specific decisions (e.g. in land-
use planning/sitting of installations that are hazardous). Moreover, it is used for prioritizing
environmental risks (e.g. for determining the type of chemicals that needs to be first
regulated). Besides, it is used for comparing risks (e.g. to facilitate comparison of
resources that is being allocated for the containment of kinds of risks/permit risk
substitution decisions) (European Environmental Agency, 2008).

Risk assessment and management have and will remain essential and increasingly
management tools. However, it is essential to examine the strategies that can really
realize and most essentially, those that they cannot achieve.

The strategies have been bashed for many factors. Some of the reasons are not actual
chastisement of the strategies. However, they are linked to the philosophical premise for
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embarking on these assessments first of all. Dumping of spar is one these examples.
Chastisement centering on the use of the strategies are possible over-reliance and over
confidence outcomes, narrow concentration on portions of a problem instead of the
general as well as awkward correlation between risk assessment and the precautionary
principle.

Problem Formulation in Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA)


According to USEPA (1998) problem formulation is the first environmental risk
assessment (ERA). This is also deemed the hazard identification (OECD, 2003; Hill,
2005). “Problem formulation” is used in that it mirrors better the general information about
the kind as well as nature of likely serious effects that is considered in an environmental
risk assessment. The problem context for risk assessment mirrors values derived from
the general environmental policies and goals which direct risk analysis. According Suter
(2002) establishing the problem context dictates the parameters for the risk assessment
including protection goals, environmental scope, standard assessment endpoints as well
as assessment methodology.

The Benefits of Good Problem Formulation in Environmental Risk Assessment


Setting out the problem on hand clearly and the parameter in which decisions concerning
environmental risk are fashioned are essential for effective risk management. When
under pressure to complete a risk assessment quickly or apply numerical data readily
available, there is the possibility to forget the formation formulation of the problem. Failure
to clearly formulate the problem have the potential to result to a loss of focus and,
therefore, output that is inappropriate. When the problem is formulated clearly and
unambiguously, it helps to select the level as well as the types of assessment
methodology that will be used and enhanced the risk management decision. Moreover, it
is meant to help risk and uncertainty to be assessed as possibility ought not to be
assigned defined outcomes that are ambiguous. Consequently, when the risk decision
is challenged or audited, a firm reason for the process can be given (defra. gov.uk).

The role of stakeholders in the formulation of problem is crucial and, if possible, the
involvement of stakeholders will tend to make risk management decision more effective

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and durable. When environmental risk assessments are completed with reference to
legalization may have quite specific requirement which ought to be deliberated with
regulators in advance. Nearly all environmental risks are linked to specific hazards and
environmental components, are spatially and temporally determined and can usually have
broader consequences. Consider, for example, a chemical accident on the Niger Delta
that resulted in huge release of chemicals into the River. This resulted in consequences
for the people in the locality, which could have national implications for the risk
assessment of similar areas across Nigeria.

Besides, there was a risk of such chemical contaminating rivers in neighboring nations
and created international implications for Nigeria and its neighbors, such as Cameroun.
Petersen (2008) said horizon scanning can as well be employed to complement risk
assessment of likely broader implications through assisting to determine low probability,
high impact, usually called “unknown unknown” or “wild cards”. Taleb (2007) also argued
rare, extreme impact events with retrospective predictability are usually called “black
swans”.

One of the crucial early interventions is determine basic information concerning which
involves “what”, “to whom” (or the area of the environment), “where” (location) as well as
“when” (in/on time). Framing a risk assessment for a discharge to a surface water body,
for example, will need early consensus on the discouraged to be looked at, over what
period in that receiving of water, affecting which receptors/outcome measures.

Aspects of the Problem Formulation that Must Be Dialogued with Stakeholders


Aspects of the problem formulation that need dialogue with stakeholder include framing
the question, developing a conceptual model, planning the risk assessment and
screening and prioritizing risks to be assessed.

Framing the Questions: usually, risk assessments are used in situations where the
result of a given activity is uncertain. It aims to assess the essence of the risk by reference
to a societal norm, standards or opinion its acceptability and then make organizational as
well as individual arrangements for its active management. It regularly gives higher

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understanding of the characteristics of an environmental issue and seeks to identify those


aspects which play part the most part in that risk. As such, they may bed diagnostically
useful and measuring the essence of the risk. Some of the examples of specific risks
questions are: i) ‘what is the risk of an environmental release from an engineered,
contained process?” (Example, from a system designed to treat waste contaminated with
hazardous compounds) ii) what is the likelihood of environmental effects from the use of
engineered.

Various stakeholders are crucial in risk questions; risk questions are raised with them in
mind. The increase in public awareness about risks as well as greater opportunity to
access risk information culminate in organized stakeholders and individual members of
the public desire to affect risk decisions in a more direct manner. In order for this to be
achieved, they need to be capable of taking part in decision processes early so that they
can understand and question the risk assessment being made. Decisions made on the
basis of people’s knowledge as well as concerns and are understood and supported by
the people who may have influenced them directly are the best decisions.

Developing a Conceptual Model is the graphical schematic of the borders of the


problem being considered. Serious consequences such as loss of function, detriment,
and harm cannot happen provided environmental elements that we wish to insulate, such
as a top grade Salmon River or heath land is suffering from exposure to hazard.
Consequently, there abounds a benefit in setting out the link between hazards, exposure
as well as environmental elements prior to analyzing them in detail. Moreover, when the
risk management choices are to be assessed, it pays for the choice to be specified in the
conceptual model. Such approach makes sure the risk assessment is designed in order
for the choices to be assessed.

The degree of detail needed in the conceptual model will be different depending on the
complexity of the risk assessment. A conceptual model can be highly specific as well as
focus on only one area of a large project or it may be possible to embody the entire risk

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in one model. For a single chemical affecting a single receptor, for example, the concept
model will probably be simple.

Wherever, it is desirable possible, that agreement is secured with the decision-makers as


well as stakeholders concerning what are included and what is outside the scope of the
assessment. Consensus on the scope of the assessment can be affected by the purpose
of the assessment, legislative and regulatory requirements, borders of the ownership,
changes to the layout of a facility and international, national regional and local
environmental areas.

Planning the Risk Assessment: The plan of the assessment outlines the data needs for
risk assessment as well as the strategies required for gathering of data and synthesis.
Every assessment ought to begin with study into existing legislation and guidance that is
relevant to the assessment. Risks can be evaluated qualitatively and/or quantitatively.
The quantitative measurement of the abundance of a species in relation an environment
stress must be considered. Numerical and qualitative data are right and none of them
must necessarily be rated important above the other. Spatial and the time scale must be
defined to enable the assessment endpoint unambiguous.

The data that is important for analysis should be considered. Gathering data on a plant
species known to be susceptible to a certain environment stress, for example, a higher
priority instead of assessing the effects on species in distant taxonomic groups. According
to Nickson (2008), in turn, planning facilitates the effective use of resources that are
focused best at collecting data that is important to characterizing the risk. Besides, an
assessment plan describes more sophisticated assessment methods which could be
done based on the outcome of initial work. Planning that is effective can assist in
answering hypotheses at an early stage in the assessment. When the information
gathered is enough and shows that a stressor has no known toxicity or reasonable
mechanism to be toxic to the plant species, further analysis may not be needed.

Screening the Risks: Usually, in practice, some initial screening of risks will accompany
development of the conceptual model. Screening can be utilized to gauge the risk ought

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to be examined in larger degree employing methods that is suitable for the nature of risk
and quality of the evidence. Moreover, when effective, screening should identify those
features which will not receive further analysis. Prioritizing permits the efficient allocation
of resources. Justifying and recording the accompany rationale for screening risks is
valuable. Risk assessors may develop an early view as to if they have enough data to
help a quantitative assessment of the risk if this is regarded necessary/whether extra data
and evidence to help such an assessment might be needed. Quantitative risk analysis
(QRA) is an expert discipline, expensive to undertake and needs substantive data and
analysis. This may include formal mathematical modeling.

Hazard Identification and Exposure Assessment


According to United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) (1995), hazard
identification investigates the capacity of an agent to cause serious health effects in
humans and other animals. Hazard identification is a qualitative description based on the
type and quality of the data, complementary in formation and the weight of evidence from
these varied sources (health.gov.au).

The data that hazard identification uses are animal data and human data. Animal data
are usually assessed with toxicological methods, while human data are normally
assessed through epidemiological methods when they involve groups of people or
through toxicological methods when using case and acute studies. Other data that
identification hazard uses include data like structure-activity data or in vitro data assessed
by toxicologists. Sources of the data may be ad hoc data, anecdotal data, case report
data and data gathered from epidemiological registries. The quality of the study design
and methodology and the resulting data will need to be rigorously assessed in each of
the data.

Data derived from experimental studies in animals, a comprehensive data package will
normally comprise: acute toxicity, sub-chronic toxicity, chronic toxicity, reproductive
toxicity, developmental toxicity, genotoxicity and other tests.

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With regard to acute toxicity, studies examine the effects of single doses of a substance.
Typical examples of these are the LD50 test or medium lethal dose test. Moreover, the
standard acute toxicity studies involve tests for acute oral, dermal and inhalational toxicity,
eye irritation, skin irritation and skin sensitization.

In the case of sub-chronic toxicity, generally, short-term repeat-dose studies, an


exposure to about 90 days in rodents. The sub-chronic testing’s seeks to gauge any target
organs and to prove dose levels for chronic exposure research.

With chronic toxicity, research lasting for larger part of the life span of the test animals,
normally 18 months in mice and 2 years in rats. They are usually essential for assessing
possible carcinogenicity.

In the case of reproductive toxicity, research is designed to give general information on


the effects of a test substance on reproductive performance in female and male animals.

With developmental toxicity, research in pregnant animals that investigates the


spectrum of likely in utero results for the conceptus involving death, malfunction,
functional deficits and developmental delays. Developments, in recent times, extend the
period of dosing and/or observation into the neonatal period to assess potential
neurobehavioral effects and other potential post-partum toxicity.

In the instance of genotoxicity, studies are designed to gauge if the test chemicals can
disturb genetic material to cause gene/ chromosomal mutations.

Other tests: Specific tests developed for endpoints like neurobehavioral toxicity,
developmental neurotoxicity and varied in vitro tests that seek to minimize or do away
with the in vivo use of animals because of tackling animal welfare issues (health.gov.au).

Exposure Assessment
The United States’ Environmental Protection Agency (1989) claimed environmental
monitoring as well as predictive models can be employed to gauge the levels of exposure
at particular points on the exposure pathways; the contaminant intake from different
pathways under a range of scenarios involving worst-case situations can then be

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estimated. Exposure assessment is one of the more crucial and complex aspects of risk
assessment. Because of the complexity and scale of the EHRA process, concise
‘cookbook’ on exposure assessment is practicable. In like manner, the issues are usually
enough complex and “situation-specific” which manageable and complete algorithm for
decision making cannot be drafted.

Some of the basic elements that are worth considering in planning exposure assessment
include purpose, scope, level of detail and approach.

Purpose: There should be a reason for the study and how the outcome of it will be used.

Scope: The exact areas of the study should be spelt out, the study population, compound
and media to be used.

Level of Detail: The level of accuracy that is needed in the estimate of the exposure for
this to be meaningful, given the level of knowledge available about the toxicological
relationship between exposure dose-effect and risk. The resource constraints and the
resource can be used efficiently.

Approach: The methods that will be used to determine exposure and to do this accurately
represent pathways of exposure that will affect risk. What should be the nature of the
sample collection, from where how frequently, how will the data be handled, analyzed
and interpreted? (United States’ Environmental Protection Agency, 1992).

Risk Characterization
With regard to the risk assessment process, risk characterization is the final step. Risk
characterization blends the information from hazard identification, dose-response
assessment as well as exposure assessment, discusses chemicals of potential concern
(COPC) and quantifies risks inherent with these specified chemicals. It also identifies the
role of risk from all the essential exposure pathways, and aggregates such risk estimates.

Furthermore, risk characterization takes into account the likelihood that numerous
chemicals of potential concern (COPC) may have cumulative effects and take into
account options for best integrating the effects of combined exposures. Moreover, risk

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characterization describes the risks to individuals and populations with regard to nature,
extent and seriousness of likely adverse health effects.

Besides, risk characterization gives an assessment of the overall quality of the


assessment and the extent of confidence the risk assessors have regarding the estimates
of risk and conclusions made. This must be informed by right uncertainty and sensitivity
analyses. Again, it communicates results of the risk assessment to the risk manager.

Next, risk characterization gives major information for risk communication. Risk
characterization’s overall purpose is to gauge that exposures to chemicals of potential
concern (COPC) from environmental source under consideration do not go beyond a level
that is deemed protective of human health. This means that in practice, the estimated
total exposure does not go beyond a toxicological reference value or health-based
guideline value, normally one that has been set using the same principles of health risk
assessment set out in these Environmental Health guidelines.

Risk characterization may entail comparing environmental data, exposure data, intakes
and biological monitoring results with established criteria including guideline value (GVs)
established or published by authoritative sources. Because of the complexities of the
issue, the risk characterization process cannot be minimized to a ‘cookbook’. In this
regard, the guidance in this document all the time recommends the choice of default
parameters, guideline value (GVs) or risk assessment methodology should involve an
assessment of their suitability for us in environmental health risk assessment available
(EHRA). That is to say restraint should be exercised to make sure published or derived
health-based guideline value (GVs) are ‘fit for purpose’.

Environmental Health Risk Characterization: Major Principles


The major principles for health risk characterization include protection of human health
as the prime objective. Generally, human health risk assessment is done with an
appreciation that the health risk assessment is part of a huge assessment which
comprises ecological risk assessment. Nevertheless, actions informed by the risk

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characterization done ought to be all the time enough to protect public health and the
environment, placing such responsibilities above all other considerations.

Secondly, the position of Schreider et al (2010) that risk assessments ought to be


transparent. The nature as well as the use of default values and methods assumptions
and policy judgments in the risk assessment must be identified clearly and documented.
Conclusions made from the evidence ought to be differentiated from policy judgments,
and the influence of ‘scientific judgment’ made clear.

Furthermore, risk characterizations must involve a summary of the major issues and
conclusions of every other component of the risk assessment and describing the nature
and possibility of serious health effects. The summary ought to be involve description of
the overall strengthens and limitations of the assessment and conclusions.

Moreover, to protect public health as well as the environment a right extent of


conservatism must be adopted to guard against uncertainties. There should be a detailed
description of the areas of uncertainty and an analysis of the effects of these on any
derived values.

Risk Estimation
Risk estimation combines the estimated intake calculated in the exposure assessment
with the toxicological reference values (TRVs) (Threshold and non-threshold where
relevant) from toxicity assessment to produce numerical indices of likely health effect.
The risk of estimation methodology differs for threshold and non-threshold compounds
because of the different modes of chemical effect.

Threshold Risk Estimation: With regard to threshold compounds, the intake for every
exposure pathway is shared by the right threshold to produce a simple ratio, termed a
‘hazard quotient’ (HQ) or ‘risk quotient’ (RQ), which is the World Health Organization’s
recommended term). The ‘hazard quotient’ (HQs) for all exposure pathways for every
contaminant can be summed to produce a total hazard index (HI) OR risk index (RI).

Hazard quotient (HQ) =

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Intake (mg/kg/day)

Threshold TRY (mg/kg/day)

Hazard index (HI) = Σ Hazard quotient

The HQ/RQ for all exposure pathways for all contaminants must be summed to produce
a total HI/RI, provided evidence is at available to indicate this is not right. While adding
these HQs, the following must be taken into account: HI/RIs should be calculated for
every age group separately.

HI/RIs should be ideally calculated separately for chronic, sub-chronic and categorized
into groups of chemical which induce the same type of effects of which act by the same
mechanism of action. This process however is not simple and needs complete
understanding of the toxicology of the chemical concerned and must only be undertaken
by a rightly qualified toxicologist. When the separation is not done carefully or
overestimated of the true, risk could result. When toxicological information is lacking or
not clear, it can be assumed the chemicals act by the same mechanism of actions with
summation of the HQ/RIs. It must be noted this will result in an overestimate of the true
risk.

Community Engagement
Because there has been an increase about the awareness of environmental problems
and more persons have become really concerned about risks to the quality of the
environment and their health so have the demands for more and better engagement with
the community in about decisions related the environmental increase. Legalization about
the environment increasingly require neighbors, local residents, national and local interest
groups are called upon about the activities as well as developments that may have impact
on the environment. Consultation, in practice, has usually been instead late in the
decision process and some. Pett and Brooks (2006), for example, claimed little
opportunity is available for people to really affect t the decision. According to Few et al
(2007), the outcome has at times been public frustration and opposition, with demands
for more information and consequential delays to decisions. Stern et al (1996) said such

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difficulties have resulted to the adoption of analytical-deliberative decision processes in


the United Kingdom and overseas that allow for public discussion, debate and reflection
about the risk assessment itself alongside the analysis of risk (usually, as well called
participatory assessment). (defra. gov.uk).

The most method to support public/community engagement is participatory risk


assessment and this has been recognized as such. When planning community a risk
assessment, community engagement must be given when stakeholder and the public’s
input and views can be considered in the decision, there is, possibly to be or has been,
concern about the risk issue, and support is needed for the decision from stakeholders
and the public.

Community risk assessment process engages peoples through a bottom-up approach


which seeks to include stakeholders and the public in problem formulation, appraising
preferred management options and proposing solutions to particular risk problem. While
planning a community risk assessment, the major elements involve communicating
information transparently and using a non-technical or domain-specific language; defining
issues which need to be tackled as well as the questions which need answered, scoping
the problem and constructing the questions; identifying the data and information required
to deal with the questions; identifying the sources of data and deciding the way to handle
uncertainty.

Petts et al (2010) community risk assessments that are most effective use small
discussion groups of 10-20 people, and permit time for persons to become familiar with
technical issue to read background material as well as build confidence to participate in
discussion and ask questions. Formal methods including small groups involve citizens’
juries, community advisory committees or consensus panels. General literature
concerning community engagement gives more information on these (Petts and Leach,
2000). They are especially right for policy and plan-making (such as flood risk
management) processes where more time is available, and where people from a wide
variety of interests and maybe varied areas of the country or region may need to be

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involved. Nevertheless, these methods can be expensive. Regarding a site-specific


decision, such as relating to the design of a flood risk management scheme or decision
on remediation of a contaminated site, it may be right to form a discussion groups or
workshops.

These groups might meet on 2 or 3 evening, at least 2-3 hours every time or during at
weekends so as to learn the risk decision which has to be done to scope the problem and
discuss information needs for the risk assessment. Extensive literature abounds on
stakeholders as well as public participation and engagement. This includes (Renn, 2006;
Petts et al, 2010).

Reviewing and Appraising of Environmental Risk Assessment Report

Strategies for Sampling the Environment: Lord (1987) claimed with sampling, the
statistical considerations needs to be matched to expertise in situation assessment and
knowledge of the particular situation. According to US EPA (1989), the sampling plan and
decisions concerning the number, type and location of samples need to be developed
with an understanding of the potential exposure pathways and routes. The potential risk
management outcomes will influence sampling. The proposed human activities for the
particular setting will critically affect th nature of the sampling program. Some useful
guidance on sampling is reported in Heyworth (1991).

Sampling is done to determine the concentration and distribution of the agent, monitoring
site conditions to gauge if remedial actions are needed and designing and implementing
remedial actions. Usually, there are three stages of sampling: an initial assessment to
determine if detailed investigation is necessary; a detailed sampling and analysis plan
and post-remedial validation.

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Regarding these, a sampling program with multiple stages may be needed, particularly
for huge and complex.

Sampling Methodologies: there are several methods for environmental sampling and
the field is progressing rapidly (Keith, 1988; 1990; Perkins, 1997). Often sampling is most
effectively achieved as a staged and iterative procedure, where earlier results can be
used to concentrate on later sampling stages. While sampling water, allowance should
be made for the fact that stratification can happen in bodies of water. Keith (1990) claimed
groundwater contamination is affected by ‘depth to water’, recharge rate, soil composition,
topography (slope) and other parameters like the volatility and persistence’ of the
substance. There is always a considerable risk of cross-contamination of aquifers when
sinking bores and special precautions should be made to protections should be made to
protect against this.

Sampling Patterns: sampling plans will depend on the medium that is being sampled.
When there abounds enough information on a situation, random sampling may not be
right or adequate and judgment sampling may be more appropriate. Water and air over a
small area are likely to be more homogeneous compared to soil.

Sampling Density: Keith (1990) said ‘statistical equations are tools to be used as help
to common sense and not as substitute for it’. Statistical formulae for determining
sampling density are normally informed by the requirements which the results will be
usually disturbed, and a particular concentration is also likely to happen at any point. An
estimate of the mean of the results and the standard deviation of the results before
sampling density can be calculated are required by some analytical techniques. Such
requirements can rarely be met during the stages of initial and detailed investigation as
sites are usually heterogeneous with a highly skewed distribution of results.

Conclusion

This essay centered on environmental and occupational health and risk assessment.
Issues to be analyzed included environmental risk assessment, problem formulation and

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scope. Other issues were hazard identification and exposure assessment and risk
characterization. The rest included community engagement and the reviewing and
appraising of environmental risk assessment report.

I have benefitted greatly from writing this essay. It has helped me understand and
appreciate the importance of environmental and occupational health and risk
assessment. For example, I know that setting out the problem on hand clearly and the
parameter in which decisions concerning environmental risk are fashioned are essential
for effective risk management. Secondly, I have learned that in environmental and
occupational health and risk assessment, the aspects of the problem formulation that
need dialogue with stakeholder include framing the question, developing a conceptual
model, planning the risk assessment and screening and prioritizing risks to be assessed.

Furthermore, I know that hazard identification is a qualitative description based on the


type and quality of the data, complementary in formation and the weight of evidence from
these varied sources (health.gov.au).

All in all, piecing together this essay has boosted my knowledge and appreciation
environmental and occupational health and risk assessment as health personnel, and
boosted my confidence as a health practitioner.

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References

env.gov.bc.ca
European Environmental Agency (2008) The Use of Risk Assessment in Environmental
Management

USEPA (1998) Guides for Ecological Risk Assessment

Hill, RA (2005) Conceptualizing Risk Assessment Methodology For Genetically Modifies


Organisms Environ

Suter, GW (2000) Generic Assessment Endpoints are Needed for Ecological Risk
Assessment Risk

defra. gov.uk
Petersen, JL (2008) A Vision for 2012: Planning for Extraordinary Change. Golden:
Fulcrum Publishing
Taleb, NN (2007) The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. New York:
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