Essentials of Toxic Chemical Risk: Science and Society

Stephen Penningroth

April 7, 2010 by CRC Press
Reference - 212 Pages - 30 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780415248518 - CAT# TF1243


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  • Supplies study questions and answers that illustrate the ways in which lab results are used to manage chemical risk
  • Introduces the EPA’s conceptual framework for ecological risk assessment
  • Profiles the politics of risk management, including laws and policies regulating toxic chemical risk in the US, Canada, and the EU
  • Describes the science of toxicology from a practical risk assessment and risk management perspective rather than from the perspective of an academic research program
  • Contains sketches of individual hazardous chemicals and case studies of risk assessment and risk management
  • Addresses humans and ecosystems, giving the book a true ecotoxicology aspect
  • Includes a foreword by Henry Lickers, Environment Division, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne


A contribution to the ongoing debate about how to manage the growing risks of anthropogenic chemicals in the environment, Essentials of Toxic Chemical Risk weaves together coverage of the science that underlies toxic chemical risk assessment, the physiological and molecular bases of chemical toxicity, the process of assessing toxic chemical risk to human health and the environment, and the strategies employed in managing it. The book links toxic chemical risk to the real world of people and communities confronted with the vexing problem of how to deal with products that make their lives better but that also harbor a potential for harm.

The book introduces the basics of toxicology from a risk assessment perspective, using a jargon-free, journalistic style that makes scientific concepts accessible to a wide audience without "dumbing down" the science. It covers the fate and transport of chemicals in the environment, dose-effect, animal toxicity testing, human epidemiology, the uptake, distribution, and elimination of toxic chemicals including first-order rate constants and calculations of body burdens, and the cellular basis of cancer and other diseases that can be caused by toxic chemicals. The book also introduces risk management and discusses the balance between precaution and socio-economic benefits, as embodied by the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and the European Union’s innovative REACH directive (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of chemicals).

Putting equal emphasis on the twin issues of risk assessment and risk management, the author has carefully selected topics that shed light on risk management decisions and cover ecotoxicolocy and organismic toxicology. The book provides a thorough introduction to the science of toxicology and to the policy debates and scientific uncertainties that make risk management a work in progress.


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