World Congress on Risk 2015
19-23 July, 2015, Singapore

Online Program

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

Wednesday 22-07-2015

Issues in Health Risk Assessment and Management

Room: Discovery   15:30–17:00

Chair(s): Shao Kan

1    Study Integration in Dose-Response Assessment: Challenges and Opportunities. Shao K, Indiana University Bloomington (253)

Abstract: As augmented toxicological and epidemiological evidence from various sources become available, for some widely distributed environmental contaminants, it has been acknowledged that synthesizing useful information from different studies into risk assessment is critically important. Especially, due to the need to address uncertainty across studies, integrating a set of suitable data from multiple studies for dose-response modeling has attracted much attention. From a methodological perspective, recent development of Bayesian method in dose-response modeling has also enhanced the capability to incorporate multiple datasets for dose-response modeling comparing to the traditional frequentist method. As a way to take variability among different population into account, integrating multiple datasets might also be helpful to reduce uncertainty in curve fitting and risk estimation and further to support policy making. On the other hand, combining dose-response modeling faces a number of challenges, such as inconsistent response measures (e.g., different types of endpoint) and dose metrics (e.g., different biomarkers used in epidemiological studies). Therefore, the purpose of this study is to demonstrate different ways to integrate multiple datasets for dose-response modeling through real data application. The methods considered in this study are mainly built on Bayesian framework, including hierarchical structure and prior elicitation for information integration. Preliminary results show that the methods have both advantages and disadvantages, what we emphasize in risk assessment should be the driven force to decide which method is more appropriate.

2    Occupational cancer in Europe: what are the priorities for action? Cherrie JW, IOM; Rushton L, Imperial College London; Gorman-Ng M, IOM; Hutchings S, Imperial College London; van Tongeren M, IOM (146)

Abstract: Introduction The main European legislation on the control of occupational chemical carcinogens is in the process of revision. The European Commission DG Employment sponsored a socioeconomic, health and environmental analysis of possible changes to the Directive – the SHEcan Project. This paper provides an overview of the project and identifies priorities for action to reduce future risks to worker health. Methods The project involved collecting available information about the circumstances of exposure for each of 25 substances, along with data on the relative risk of cancer from the published epidemiological literature. These data were used to assess the magnitude and extent of exposures, and hence the cancer burden from past and future use. Health costs and benefits were evaluated for no intervention and for the introduction of up to three possible Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs). Compliance costs were also estimated. Results Eleven of the substances were human carcinogens, four were probably carcinogenic and ten were possible human carcinogens. The number of workers exposed to these substances ranged from more than a million to less then 1,000. Without any further intervention it was estimated there will be more than 700,000 attributable cancer deaths over the next 60-years. In most cases the proposed interventions had limited or modest impact, and the total compliance costs were generally greater than monetized health benefits, although this was due to the financial discounting of future benefits. Discussion There is a strong case for the introduction of an OEL for respirable crystalline silica, chrome VI and hardwood dust. The weight of evidence supports the introduction of limits for diesel engine exhaust emissions, rubber fume, benzo[a]pyrene, trichloroethylene, hydrazine, epichlorohydrin, o-toluidine, used engine oil and MDA. To achieve an important reduction of the number of occupational cancer it will be necessary to reduce exposure well below proposed OELs.

3    Risk analysis of GMOs in the EU: Bringing the Gap between Science and Socio-Economic Considerations. Anyshchenko A., University of Copenhagen (262)

Abstract: Genetically modified organisms set up a complicated issue for EU policy on health and the environment. A problem created by biotechnologies is that they bring about uncertainty about their potential risks. Available scientific and technical data is important in preparing EU policy on the environment and in dealing with the challenges posed by perceptions of risks and uncertainty attributed to GMOs. In the EU, the methodology of risk analysis on GMOs comprises three stages: risk assessment, risk management and risk communication. The environmental risk assessment of GMOs is understood as the evaluation of risks to human health and the environment, whether direct or indirect, immediate or delayed, which the deliberate release or the placing on the market of GMOs may pose. In the field of the environment, the doctrine of risk regulation is concerned with the governance of risks to health and safety, weighed up against economic interests. In other words, a health protection measure can affect trade negatively, as well as trade liberalisation can affect health protection interests. EU policy on health and the environment relies on scientific evidence. I will analyse the interrelation between scientific knowledge, economic interests and non-economic values. I will examine whether the legally relevant facts established by scientific risk assessment are able to contribute to economic development by reconciling the conflicting interests of trade and heath protection. I will elaborate on the role of science in EU decision making on GMOs. It is important since proper application of EU policy on the environment depends on whether EU officials handle these issues in a way that follows on objectivity provided by scientific evidence, and over political concerns provoked by GMOs. As an outcome, the proposed presentation will offer solutions for bridging the gap between risk assessment and science-informed policy in the field of agricultural biotechnologies.

4    Ensuring the Quality of Occupational Safety Risk Assessment. Pinto Abel, Safe@Work (99)

Abstract: The main aim of occupational safety risk assessment (OSRA) is to improve the safety level by either preventing accidents and injuries or minimizing its consequences. An appropriate OSRA is an essential component of the occupational safety risk management process in industries. But what constitutes a good OSRA ? Adamski(2003) and Rouhiainen (1993) point that the OSRA quality results depend on several factors such as analysts skills, documentation completeness (sufficiency of data), coverage of hazard identification and accuracy of consequences estimation. These factors can affect the results and the analysis’ cost-effectiveness. Results may vary depending on: a) initial assumptions; b) simplifications made in the system description and accidents modeling; c) confidentiality (or others) constraints of the object; d) inaccuracy of consequence models; e) ill-defined data employed. Inappropriate results lead to criticism of OSRA. Cox (2002) point five main causes of criticism: 1) inaccuracy of some of the models used, 2) incompleteness in the analyses, 3) difficulty of checking the final result, 4) inadequacy of criteria of acceptability, and 5) complexity and laboriousness of the technique. This presentation examines the current state-of-the-art in OSRA quality and presents the results of a survey aimed at eliciting the relative importance for identified OSRA tasks. The survey involved defining a questionnaire with the most important elements (tasks) for OSRA process quality assessment, which was then presented to safety experts on construction, mining industry, electrical power production and transportation and petrochemical industries from Portugal, Brazil, Greece and Australia. The final objective of this research is to set up a framework to enable an in depth evaluation of the OSRA quality, thus contributing to improve the relevance and value of the analysis, and increase the legitimacy and acceptance of the resulting decisions

5    Why risk communication often escapes from risk management practices? Cases drawn from risk communication practices on health effects by radiation . Nishizawa Mariko, Litera Japan Co.,Tokyo, Japan (412)

Abstract: Risk communication is an established element within risk analysis framework. It is widely agreed that it is a vital tool to convey the meaning of scientific assessment and risk management, and share safety-related information amongst varying stakeholder groups. Nevertheless, this social science-device is often misinterpreted or overlooked in the real world and, as a result, risk communication is often not integrated into risk management in practice. This is more often so outside North America and Europe since the risk analysis framework was brought into Asia only in the last fifteen years. The need for effective risk communication has become more of a pressing issue after the nuclear accident in Fukushima in 2011, yet its implementation is slow. This discrepancy between theory and practice needs more attention, and wider discussions about how to integrate risk communication practice into risk management schemes are necessary. Drawn from three different risk dialogue on radiation in Japan that the speaker conducted between 2011 and 2015, this talk will illustrate why risk communication often escapes from risk management practices and explore how communication practices can help enhance risk management. Especially, it will demonstrate that the awareness and actual involvement of scientists and engineers in stakeholder dialogues can help integrate risk communication exercises into risk management.

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