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Step 1.3 Reviewing and Evaluating Environmental Data

Key Questions

Certain questions should be considered when reviewing environmental data.

Here are some typical questions that health assessors consider.

Question 1
Were environmental samples collected at the contaminant sources as well as at places where people might come in contact with the chemical?

Question 2
Do samples represent typical site conditions or areas of high chemical concentrations (so-called hot spots)?

Question 3
Were enough samples taken from an area to show how much of a chemical is there or, if the area has been cleaned up, whether the chemical was there?

Question 4
If the chemical is known to be present naturally in the area, such as the minerals calcium or arsenic, was sampling sufficient to determine whether levels are unusually high?

Health assessors also use reports that have information on quality assurance and quality control.

Quality assurance and quality control reports provide information about the samples collected and laboratory procedures. These reports help health assessors decide how the data should be used.

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