Society For Risk Analysis Annual Meeting 2012

Advancing Analysis

Session Schedule & Abstracts

* Disclaimer: All presentations represent the views of the authors, and not the organizations that support their research. Please apply the standard disclaimer that any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations in abstracts, posters, and presentations at the meeting are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other organization or agency. Meeting attendees and authors should be aware that this disclaimer is intended to apply to all abstracts contained in this document. Authors who wish to emphasize this disclaimer should do so in their presentation or poster. In an effort to make the abstracts as concise as possible and easy for meeting participants to read, the abstracts have been formatted such that they exclude references to papers, affiliations, and/or funding sources. Authors who wish to provide attendees with this information should do so in their presentation or poster.

Common abbreviations

Studies of Risk Governance Systems

Room: Pacific Concourse N   1:30 - 3 PM

Chair(s): Chabane Mazri

Sponsored by RPLSG

W3-J.1  13:30  The Need for 2nd Order Risk Management. Saner MA*; University of Ottawa

Abstract: In this paper, I argue that the time has come to carry out systematic risk analyses of the second order. That is to say, it is now urgent to use risk analytical methodology to assess our risk analytical methods and processes themselves. It is currently uncommon to use risk analytical methods to calculate the risks associated with new risk tools. For example, when the precautionary principle was introduced into legislation in Canada (Canadian Environmental Protection Act, CEPA 1999) no formal assessment of the risks and benefits associated with this introduction were carried out. Arguably, applied to itself, the precautionary principle could have prevented its own implementation: the introduction of the precautionary principle into CEPA met the principle’s three conditions of (a) the need for a decision, (b) a risk of serious or irreversible harm and (c) a lack of full scientific certainty. I will show practical applications. Because of technological acceleration and diffusion, we are now entering a period where many traditional methods of product risk assessment will become ineffective. The diffusion and proliferation of very cheap “do-it-yourself” technological platforms will require that regulatory paradigms are re-thought from a second-order perspective. Furthermore, the rate of change creates novel risk categories such as the total loss of personal privacy, the integration of human brains and computers, the loss of selfhood, and social change at an unseen scale. I argue that we should use our own discipline – the vast experience available in the risk analysis community – to evaluate the performance of existing risk-based decision-systems, to forecast their future performance, and to assess novel approaches that may emerge as a result of the stresses outlined above.

W3-J.2  13:50  Credibility of risk assessments. Wiedemann PM*, Boerner F; Karlsruhe Institut of Technology

Abstract: One of the crucial communication issues that have to be tackled by risk assessors is to provide a comprehensible and informative characterization of their findings. CORA (acronym for Credibility of Risk Assessment) is a framework designed for delivering and evaluating the credibility of risk assessments. The CORA framework can be used: (1) by stakeholders and policy makers to make an educated judgement about the credibility of an assessment, and (2) by the authors of a risk assessment to improve the evaluability of their reports.The CORA framework consists of 18 criteria, leading to six main recommendations. The CORA approach is supported by two studies. First, we elicited the intuitive criteria non-experts rely on when evaluating the credibility of risk assessments. Second, in an online-survey, medical practitioners as well as members of the interested public evaluated the importance of these criteria. Both studies suggests that CORA supports non-experts in making a qualified judgment about the credibility of a risk assessment. The framework’s application is not limited with respect to electromagnetic field (EMF) risk assessment, for which it was originally developed, but can be used in any area of risk or hazard assessment.

W3-J.3  14:10  Risk analysis on GMOs: The complex overlapping of scientific, political and economic issues in the debates in Brazil . Guivant JS*; Federal University of Santa Catarina

Abstract: Since middle 90s the controversies and conflicts around genetically modified organisms (GMOs) crossed the world. The Brazilian case allows emphasizing the relevance of studying cross-national variations. In this paper I will analyze 1) how the controversy about GMOs in Brazil went from a polarization between two heterogeneous coalitions, pro and against, until the approval of the Biosafety Law, in 2005, to a multisided mosaic. After 2005 the sector in favor of GMOs won the controversy. Since 2009 the country became the second largest area planted with GMOs. The coalition against GMOs that was more active, loose action when Greenpeace left it. With a discourse about agroecology and social justice this coalition remains marginal in the political scene. The other coalition is new and formed by conventional and economic powerful actors (big groups of soybeans production) looking for the economic significance of conventional non GMO crops for the global market. My argument is that they are assuming the discourse of sustainability, social responsibility and obtaining credible global certifications for exportation. 2) Controversies can loose political force but disagreements can prevail (risks of glyphosate, for example). In the paper I will focus in one that surprisingly is consensual among both coalitions against GMOs: risk analysis at the CTNbio (Bio-Safety Commission). This agency was created by the state within the Ministry of Science and Technology to regulate and study companies’ requests to test and plant crops. It was initially comprised of scientists, representatives from interested companies and consumer organization representatives – who later withdrew from the commission due to disagreements. The science practiced in that institutional arena that determines public policies has been questioned as not being good science but this has not disturbed its decision process. 3) Through material of interviews and secondary data I analyze the methods of risks analysis, and how scientific decisions are overlap with economic and political ones.

W3-J.4  14:30  Comparing human health risk values across organizations. Holman E*, Gray G, Francis R; US Environmental Protection Agency (Authors 1 and 4), George Washington University (Authors 1-3)

Abstract: Environmental and public health organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) develop human health risk values that set ‘safe’ levels of exposure to non-carcinogens. Such values, e.g., reference doses (RfD) or acceptable daily intakes (ADI), identify an exposure rate at which no adverse health effects are expected. These human health risk values are developed based on established guidelines and procedures for hazard characterization and dose-response assessment. In setting human health risk values, organizations rely on established science policies and processes to guide the review of available toxicological and epidemiological data, and to inform choices among these data and key factors in the dose-response analyses. This effort compares human health risk values across organizations. Prior comparisons of human health risk values across organizations have been limited, focusing mainly on pesticides and single chemical risk assessments. Therefore, the goals of the effort include systematic identification of the underlying choices that lead to differences in these values across organizations, and examination of the science policy differences including areas of agreement and disagreement across these organizations. These choices include the selection of principal study, critical effect, the point of departure approach and numerical estimate, and the use of uncertainty factors. Variables are assessed by evaluating either the overall numerical distribution or frequency of occurrence across chemicals and organizations. Included in the analysis are human health risk values from the following organizations: USEPA, WHO, the European Union, Health Canada, RIVM (Netherlands), and the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. The opinions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect policies of USEPA or the U.S. government.

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