Throughout history, hazardous material has represented a risk to individuals. The task of regulating risk can be overwhelming. A regulator must interpret and coordinate a wide variety of information from experts and the lay public. To aid the regulator, the loosely coordinated field of environmental risk analysis has evolved. This paper provides a nontechnical examination of the four steps in the analysis of risks associated with an environmental hazard. The steps are (1) risk assessment--the use of scientific data to quantify risk, (2) risk perception--the manner in which individuals or societies perceive risk, (3) risk valuation--monetary valuation of reductions in risk, and (4) risk management--controlling risk in the "best" interests of societies. Each step is examined in terms of its tasks and possible problems. The paper provides a reference for regulators who must understand both the insights and the limitations of environmental risk analysis.
Iowa State University
Shogren, Jason F., "A Primer on Environmental Risk Analysis" (1990). CARD Staff Reports. 56.