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The default value approach to the precautionary principle
KTH, Superseded Departments, History of Science and Technology.
2002 (English)In: Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, ISSN 1080-7039, Vol. 8, no 3, 463-471 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In science, when information is lacking, the reasonable response is to suspend judgement. When incomplete scientific information is to be used for decision-making purposes, such as regulation, the option of suspending judgement is not available. In such situations the precautionary principle may be used. One of several problems with the precautionary principle is that it is poorly defined and difficult to operationalize. We propose a way of operationalizing the precautionary principle through assigning cautious default values to variables that are needed in the risk analysis but are nevertheless unknown. A formalized model is introduced, in which the precautionary principle is interpreted in terms of default values of chemicals regulation. Four different methods for choosing default values (positive list, negative list, statistical expectation, and precaution) are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 8, no 3, 463-471 p.
Keyword [en]
precautionary principle, default values, risk assessment
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-21527ISI: 000175467500002OAI: diva2:340225
QC 20100525Available from: 2010-08-10 Created: 2010-08-10Bibliographically approved

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Hansson, Sven Ove
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