Date and Title of Milestone


EPA 1986b Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment

The 1986 guidelines, developed to address an NRC (1983) recommendation to craft cancer inference guidelines, incorporate concepts and approaches established since the previous cancer guidelines were released in 1976.

EPA 1986c Guidelines for Mutagenicity Risk Assessment

The guidelines state that “a consistent approach to the evaluation of mutagenic risk from chemical substances arises from the authority conferred upon the Agency by a number of statutes to regulate potential mutagens” (EPA 1986c, p. 2).


Definition of Risk Assessment: Risk assessment comprises hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment, and risk characterization (NRC 1983). Hazard identification is qualitative risk assessment, dealing with the inherent toxicity of a chemical substance. A qualitative mutagenicity assessment answers the question of how likely an agent is to be a human mutagen. The three remaining components constitute quantitative risk assessment, which provides a numerical estimate of the public-health consequences of exposure to an agent. The quantitative mutagenicity risk assessment deals with the question of how much mutational damage is likely to be produced by exposure to a given agent under particular exposure scenarios.

EPA 1986d Guidelines for Chemical Mixtures Risk Assessment

Details agency approaches to assessing risks posed by complex chemical mixtures with supplementary update in EPA (2000a).

EPA 1987 Unfinished Business: A Comparative Assessment of Environmental Problems

Assesses agency resource allocations relative to magnitude of risks and protection gained.

“Many new [environmental] problems are difficult to evaluate; many involve toxic chemicals that can cause cancer or birth defects at levels of exposure that are hard to detect; and many involve persistent contaminants that can move from one environment medium to another, causing further damage even after controls have been applied for one medium. The complexity and gravity of these issues make it particularly important that EPA apply its finite resources where they will have the greatest effect. Thus, the Administrator of EPA commissioned a special task force of senior career managers and technical experts to assist him and other policy makers in the task. The assignment was to compare the risks currently associated with major environmental problems” (EPA 1987, p. xiii).

EPA 1989 Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund (RAGS)

Provides guidance on conducting site-specific risk assessments at Superfund sites. About four pages are devoted to planning and scoping. See EPA 1989 Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund, Vol. 1—Human Health Evaluation Manual, Parts A-E; Baseline Assessment (EPA 1989), Community Involvement (EPA 1999); Preliminary Remediation Goals (EPA 1991a); Remedial Alternatives (EPA 1991b); Standardized Planning and Reporting, and Dermal Risk Assessment (EPA 2001).

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement