What is risk assessment?
Risk assessment is the process of estimating the potential impacts of chemicals and other environmental hazards on human populations and the circumstances under which health risks may be realised. ACCHRA is a proponent of the enHealth approach to environmental health risk assessment. This requires:
- identification of potential chemical hazards in the environment using toxicological and epidemiological data
- assessing dose-response relationships
- identifying and quantitating all potential exposure pathways, and
- characterising the risks in a way which aids risk management and consultation with affected stakeholders.
- Participated in the development and promulgation of the Health Risk Assessment Guidelines published in 2002 and has been updating these guidelines in a 2008-09 review
- Participated in the development and trialling of the 2002 NHMRC Guidelines for Risk Assessment of carcinogens at contaminated sites (benchmark dose and safety factor approach)
- Developed approaches to the health risk assessment of chemical mixtures
- Expertise in biomarkers of exposures and biological effect monitoring (e.g. cytogenetic changes) relating to occupational chemical exposures (solvents, pesticides)
- Expertise in the use of probabilistic techniques in risk assessment
ACHHRA primarily offers its assistance to government agencies responsible for managing environmental health issues. However, it can also provide assistance, on a selective basis, to clients in the commercial sector.
ACHHRA aims to take a leading role in updating HRA methodology and developing training programs in HRA. In this context, ACCHRA has strong linkages with the Australasian College of Toxicology & Risk Assessment (ACTRA), which it helped to establish in 2006.
ACHHRA has developed teaching programs and short courses on HRA at Monash University, and has also contributed to similar programs developed by its original partner Universities (UQ, Flinders) as well as Sydney University and the CSIRO.
ACHHRA assists Commonwealth government HRA programs through membership of Expert Panels and Advisory Committees, and has been appointed to Science Fellowship programs at FSANZ and the APVMA.
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