course will provide an overview of the fundamentals of human health
risk assessment of chemical pollution in the urban environment. Students
will develop a critical understanding of the steps of risk assessment
(hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment,
and risk characterization) through a series of examples and applied
problems. Examples will include health risks for residential communities
surrounding point-source polluters (e.g., industrial facilities) or
contaminated sites, as well as risks from non-point source exposures,
such as ambient air pollution and drinking water contamination.
Quantitative methods for assessing risk will be taught, following
guidance from the US EPA and utilizing software tools. The course will
emphasize identification of data sources for use in risk calculations
and interpretation of risk analysis results, including characterization
of risk variability and robust discussion of the uncertainties. We will
also examine how quantitative assessment of risk can inform regulation
for protection of human health from urban pollution.
After completing this course, participants will be able to:
- Specify quantitative methods
for assessing risk from environmental chemical pollution; accurately
explain results, both verbally and in writing.
- Estimate dose-response and exposure based on published data, for use in risk calculations.
- Identify key areas of uncertainty in risk predictions and understand methods to address such uncertainty.
- Describe factors that affect
susceptibility to health effects from environmental pollution and
approaches to characterize variability as part of a risk analysis.
Prerequisite knowledge: Basic knowledge of statistics or
biostatistics is required; participants are expected to have completed
at least one university-level course.
Technical requirements: Participants will need access to
Microsoft Excel, R, and US EPA Benchmark Dose Software (BMDS) for the
course. R and BMDS free software will be available for participants to
install on their computers.