Precautionary defaults - A new strategy for chemical risk management

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In order to give adequate support to risk managers, new risk assessment methods should be developed that are (1) scientifically sound, (2) simplified, and (3) suited for precautionary risk management. In this Perspective we propose that the notion of a precautionary default can be a useful tool in the development of such methods. A precautionary default is a cautious or pessimistic assumption that is used in the absence of adequate information and that should be replaced when such information is obtained. Furthermore, we point out some promising research areas for the development of such indicators, viz. connections between chemical characteristics such as persistence and effect parameters, monitoring of contaminants in polar regions, monitoring of contaminants in breast milk, application of results from (human) toxicology in ecotoxicology and vice versa, (eco) toxicological test systems that are sensitive to effects on reproduction, and the application of bioinformatic methods to complex data, both in genomic research and in ecotoxicology. We conclude that precautionary decision-making does not require less science, but to the contrary it requires more science and improved communication between scientists and risk managers.

Details

Authors
  • P Sandin
  • B E Bengtsson
  • Å Bergman
  • I Brandt
  • L Dencker
  • P Eriksson
  • L Förlin
  • Per Larsson
  • A Oskarsson
  • C Ruden
  • Anders Södergren
  • Per Woin
  • S O Hansson
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
JournalHuman and Ecological Risk Assessment
Volume10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Chemical Ecology/Ecotoxicology (Closed 2011) (011006020)