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The risk-characterization memorandum goes through each step of risk assessment and outlines the questions to be answered. These are shown in Table 5-1, which suggests several issues that should be addressed to describe the information in each step fully.

Communication of Risk

Risk communication consists of two parts: communication between the risk assessor and the risk manager and communication between the risk-assessment management team and the public. The risk manager often receives the individual and population risk estimates (generally point estimates but occasionally ranges of these estimates) with only a qualitative description of the uncertainties in each. The general public often receives much less information—only the point estimate or range (without a description of the uncertainty) and the risk manager's decision—although far more is available from published sources or on request. In most regulatory situations, the manager's decision and supporting information are published in the Federal Register. In addition, extensive background documents that discuss the risk analysis in much more depth are often available to the public. The public is generally given an opportunity to comment within 30-60 days on the analysis and resulting decision. EPA may adjust a risk assessment on the basis of public comments.

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