TAB D - Methodology
To estimate the health risks from such exposures, DoD adopted a health risk assessment methodology based on that used by the US Environmental Protection Agency. This process, illustrated in Figure 11, estimates the health risk from contaminant concentrations, site exposure, and contaminant toxicity characteristics. It consists of four steps: Hazard Identification, Dose Assessment, Toxicity Assessment, and Risk Characterization.
Figure 11. Health Risk Assessment Process
Hazard Identification determines who was exposed and how. This includes identification of: a) the possible contaminants (DU); b) individuals exposed to that contaminant; c) exposure pathways (such as inhalation); and d) which incidents need to be evaluated. Dose Assessment estimates the intensity, frequency, and duration of exposures to DU and what the chemical and radiological intakes these doses represent. Toxicity Assessment involves researching the medical effects of exposure to DU and at what levels of exposure these effects occurs. Risk characterization is the "bottom line" of the health risk methodology. Using both dose-assessment and toxicity assessment data, the risk assessment provides an explanation of the health risk from a given activity or exposure scenario. To arrive at this assessment, the Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses (OSAGWI) developed an investigation and validation process that includes:
Performing this assessment for DU involves the cooperative efforts of several organizations, specifically;
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