Department of Defense (DOD) framework for assessing risks to deployed forces. Use of that paradigm would “facilitate integration of the results of hazard-specific assessments and tracking of the complex process of simultaneous consideration of multiple threats…and [would aid in] developing risk management strategies, including trade-offs” (NRC 2000). That recommendation follows from a more detailed discussion of related issues in which the following key points are made:

  • “Troops during deployment could become exposed to a number of threats simultaneously. Exposures that are individually tolerable without appreciable risk might not be so when several are experienced together, and the question of interactions among agents looms particularly large for deployment risk assessment” (NRC 2000, p. 41)

  • “The NRC (1983) paradigm for risk assessment…is readily adaptable to deployed forces protection…to analyze (1) the likelihood of the presence of a hazard associated with a deployment; (2) the likelihood of releases of agents into the environment; (3) the likelihood that troops will suffer exposure (of various magnitudes), given the releases; and (4) the likelihood that health effects will be caused among them, given the exposure…. [E]fforts would be focused on how activities and practices come to present threats, how likely it is that threats will be manifested in practice, and how mitigating one risk might raise other risks” (NRC 2000, p. 43)

  • “[R]isk analysis must be content to say what can be said and not only to acknowledge the inevitable remaining uncertainty, but to try to characterize that uncertainty so that appropriate perspectives on the meaning and robustness of the analysis are expressed. …Characterization of uncertainty and the limitations of available data are important to all risk analysis, but they might play an especially important role in the analysis of deployment threats, where high-consequence decisions might require taking one risk to avoid others, Risk management approaches exist to help make such decisions, but when the risks to be compared are quite uncertain, or uncertain to different degrees, good characterizations of uncertainty is [sic] necessary in order to arrive at sound solutions” (NRC 2000, pp. 60-61; italics added).

  • “…the establishment of ‘conservative’ estimates of dose-response relations, that is, those designed to err on the side of safety when faced with uncertainty about how to project expected human responses from available data, might not be appropriate for certain military uses. When risks cannot be avoided and decisions are made to accept some risks rather than others, or to bear some risk in furtherance of a more fundamental military objective, it is important to make these trade-off decisions with unbiased esti-



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