Risk Assessment Case Study

Topics: Risk assessment, Cost-benefit analysis, Risk Pages: 6 (2162 words) Published: June 5, 2013
Risk Assessment Case Study

Risk Assessment Case Study Evaluation

Nicole Anderson, Robert Hoehn, Sandra Purvis,
Victoria Riggins and Rachel Van Schaik

ENV/420

October 15, 2012

Miquel Restrepo

Risk Assessment Case Study Evaluation
The risk assessment case study evaluates the chromium-contaminated soils. Twelve years of research went into the study to characterize the health hazards caused by the chromium-contaminated soils. Within New Jersey there were at least three different chromate chemical manufacturing companies operating, one in Kearny, New Jersey, and the other two in Jersey City. The study was conducted through a human health risk assessment, which contains four main steps; first identifying the hazard, second the dose response assessment, followed by the exposure assessment, and finalizing with the risk characterization. There are many short and long term health effects found within the risk assessment, which is one reason that assessment is so important. Looking at the risk assessment that was done within the area, the final implication was the simple fact that a remedial cleaning needed to be done within the area. It seems that there may have been a high cost for the study and the actual cleanup, but the benefit of saving an environment and human health is priceless. Risk assessment studies are very important to human and ecological health, therefore no matter the cost associated the benefit will always be much higher. Looking at the risk assessment of chromium-contaminated soils is important; it shows health effects related to chromium and what needs to be done to clean the area for further use by humans and nature. The case study includes a group of hazardous waste sites in Northern New Jersey. At these waste sites a “series of unique research efforts were implemented over the past 12 years to improve the accuracy of the Risk Assessment process” (Paustenbach, 2002, p.1). The case study specifically documents the use of applied research to advance the characterization of both exposure and toxicity associated with the uncontrolled release of hexavalent and trivalent chromium in the form of chromites ore processing residue (COPR) in an urban setting (Paustenbach, 2002). Early investigation began after redevelopment of certain neighborhoods in downtown Jersey City led to the discovery of COPR. Research conducted by the task force revealed that construction companies and hauling firms had sued or sold the COPR to fill basements of demolished buildings, as base for parking lots and buildings, and/or to fill low – lying areas (Paustenbach, 2002). A total of 2,138 surfaces and subsurface soil samples, 31 groundwater samples from 31 monitoring wells at seven sites, 33 ambient air samples, 19 surface-water and 11 sediment samples, and eight building wall wipe samples were collected and analyzed during the remedial investigation that was conducted by Environmental Sciences and Engineering (ESE). As a result of the investigations conducted in the late 1980s it was clear that there was considerable uncertainty about how better to characterize the potential health risks associated with the COPR sites. “The human health risk assessment a development used to process the estimation, the nature, and the chance of an adverse health effects occurring in humans who may be exposed to chemicals contaminated with environmental media” (EPA, 2012, p.1). The risk assessment can be categorized into four steps; the hazard identification, the dose-response assessment, the exposure assessment, and the risk characterization. The easiest to perform and the most recognizable, the first step is to identify the hazards. Hazard identification determines whether exposure to a hazardous agent could be a risk for the health of humans. The assessment also considers the exposure to animals and how the hazardous agent may affect or adversely...
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