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Precautionary defaults - A new strategy for chemical risk management
KTH, Superseded Departments, Infrastructure.
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2004 (English)In: Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, ISSN 1080-7039, Vol. 10, no 1, 1-18 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In order to give adequate support to risk managers, new risk assessment methods should be developed that are (1) scientifically sound, (2) simplified, and (3) suited for precautionary risk management. In this Perspective we propose that the notion of a precautionary default can be a useful tool in the development of such methods. A precautionary default is a cautious or pessimistic assumption that is used in the absence of adequate information and that should be replaced when such information is obtained. Furthermore, we point out some promising research areas for the development of such indicators, viz. connections between chemical characteristics such as persistence and effect parameters, monitoring of contaminants in polar regions, monitoring of contaminants in breast milk, application of results from (human) toxicology in ecotoxicology and vice versa, (eco) toxicological test systems that are sensitive to effects on reproduction, and the application of bioinformatic methods to complex data, both in genomic research and in ecotoxicology. We conclude that precautionary decision-making does not require less science, but to the contrary it requires more science and improved communication between scientists and risk managers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 10, no 1, 1-18 p.
Keyword [en]
risk management, chemicals, Precautionary Principle, precautionary defaults, persistent organic pollutants, organochlorine contaminants, human-milk, breast-milk, adelie penguins, gene-expression, polar bears, identification, pcbs, systems
National Category
Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-23274DOI: 10.1080/10807030490280909ISI: 000220374200001ScopusID: 2-s2.0-1642370560OAI: diva2:341972
QC 20100525 QC 20111031Available from: 2010-08-10 Created: 2010-08-10 Last updated: 2011-11-11Bibliographically approved

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Sandin, PerRudén, ChristinaHansson, Sven Ove
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