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Health Risk Science

Health risk science is a transdisciplinary field, relying on population genetics, epidemiology, toxicology, clinical science, and health surveillance to generate the scientific data needed for risk characterization. It is a rapidly evolving field, with powerful new methodologies for population health risk assessment now available to characterize population health risks (National Research Council 2007b).  New methods for describing uncertainties in estimates of population health risks are now coming into use, providing decision makers with a more complete assessment of risk (National Research Council 1994b).

A key feature of health risk science is the integration of information from different sources, taking into account all relevant data on the biology and genetic endowment, environmental and occupational and, social and behavioral determinants of health risk and the interactions at play among these risk factors.  A comprehensive assessment of health risk may involve the application of new methods for the combined analysis of data from different sources, both to resolve conflicting or ambiguous findings and to summarize complex interactions in an understandable fashion.

Reproduced from:  Krewski D, Hogan V, Turner MC, Zeman P, McDowell I, Edwards N, Losos J. 2007. An Integrated Framework for Risk Management and Population Health. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, in press.            

National Research Council. 1994b. Science and Judgment in Risk Assessment. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

National Research Council. 2007b. Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.


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