A comment was published on 8 February 2013, see Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(2), 712-716.

A comment was published on 21 February 2013, see Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(2), 742-746.

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(4), 1077-1096; doi:10.3390/ijerph9041077
Article

Integrating Susceptibility into Environmental Policy: An Analysis of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Lead

1,* email, 2email, 3email and 2email
Received: 1 February 2012; in revised form: 20 March 2012 / Accepted: 21 March 2012 / Published: 27 March 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cumulative Health Risk Assessment)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Susceptibility to chemical toxins has not been adequately addressed in risk assessment methodologies. As a result, environmental policies may fail to meet their fundamental goal of protecting the public from harm. This study examines how characterization of risk may change when susceptibility is explicitly considered in policy development; in particular we examine the process used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for lead. To determine a NAAQS, EPA estimated air lead-related decreases in child neurocognitive function through a combination of multiple data elements including concentration-response (CR) functions. In this article, we present alternative scenarios for determining a lead NAAQS using CR functions developed in populations more susceptible to lead toxicity due to socioeconomic disadvantage. The use of CR functions developed in susceptible groups resulted in cognitive decrements greater than original EPA estimates. EPA’s analysis suggested that a standard level of 0.15 µg/m3 would fulfill decision criteria, but by incorporating susceptibility we found that options for the standard could reasonably be extended to lower levels. The use of data developed in susceptible populations would result in the selection of a more protective NAAQS under the same decision framework applied by EPA. Results are used to frame discussion regarding why cumulative risk assessment methodologies are needed to help inform policy development.
Keywords: cumulative risk assessment; neurocognitive functioning; lead; nonchemical stressors; air standards; policy analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chari, R.; Burke, T.A.; White, R.H.; Fox, M.A. Integrating Susceptibility into Environmental Policy: An Analysis of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Lead. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 1077-1096.

AMA Style

Chari R, Burke TA, White RH, Fox MA. Integrating Susceptibility into Environmental Policy: An Analysis of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Lead. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2012; 9(4):1077-1096.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chari, Ramya; Burke, Thomas A.; White, Ronald H.; Fox, Mary A. 2012. "Integrating Susceptibility into Environmental Policy: An Analysis of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Lead." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 9, no. 4: 1077-1096.

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