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Evaluation Tool: Risk Message Checklist

Historical Document

This document is provided by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ONLY as an historical reference for the public health community. It is no longer being maintained and the data it contains may no longer be current and/or accurate.


(National Research Council 1989)

Information About the Nature of Risks

  1. What are the hazards of concern?
  2. What is the probability of exposure to each hazard?
  3. What is the distribution of exposure?
  4. What is the probability of each type of harm from a given exposure to each hazard?
  5. What are the sensitivities of different populations to each hazard?
  6. How do exposures interact with exposures to other hazards?
  7. What are the qualities of the hazard?
  8. What is the total population at risk?


Information About the Nature of Benefits

  1. What are the benefits associated with the hazard?
  2. What is the probability that the projected benefit will actually follow the activity in question?
  3. What are the qualities of the benefits?
  4. Who benefits and in what ways?
  5. How many people benefit and how long do benefits last?
  6. Which groups get a disproportionate share of the benefits?
  7. What is the total benefit?


Information on Alternatives

  1. What are the alternatives to the hazard in question?
  2. What is the effectiveness of each alternative?
  3. What are the risks and benefits of alternative actions and of not acting?
  4. What are the costs and benefits of each alternative and how are they distributed?


Uncertainties in Knowledge About Risks

  1. What are the weaknesses of available data?
  2. What are the assumptions on which estimates are used?
  3. How sensitive are the estimates to changes in assumptions?
  4. How sensitive is the decision to changes in the estimate?
  5. What other risk and risk control assessments have been made, and why are they different from those being offered?


Information Management

  1. Who is responsible for the decision?
  2. What issues have legal importance?
  3. What constrains the decision?
  4. What resources are available?

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