SPHU 421 Health and Environmental Risk Assessment

The course covers the principles of human health and ecological risk assessment. The National Academy of Sciences model framework for risk assessment (hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure analysis, and risk characterization) is used to explain environmental risks of long-term exposure of humans and wildlife to air pollution and chemicals in food and drinking water. The interaction of scientific methods with focus on toxicology and regulatory requirements will be reviewed. Case studies focus on current environmental pollution issues such as exposure to lead paint, mercury in fish, arsenic from smelters and petrochemical industrial emissions. Specific topics to be covered in detail include: health and ecological effects toxicology and environmental epidemiology; qualitative and quantitative risk assessment methods; cancer risk models; regulatory toxicology; risk communication; reproductive risk assessment; endocrine disruption; different approaches to risk assessment by federal, state and international agencies; political and economic aspects of risk management; information resources, and field trips to state regulatory agencies.