Perspective on Risk

Perspective on Risk - Perspectives on Risk Problem Humans...

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Perspectives on Risk Problem Humans are potentially exposed to 65,000 synthetic chemicals. For most of these, the risk is poorly characterized. How do we decide what to do? esponses Responses Pessimistic: Human species faced with disaster/extinction Optimistic: The environment will adapt Glorification of risk: Selection of the fittest Backlash: Vilification of regulatory initiatives
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Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. voidance of danger is no safer in the Avoidance of danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. Helen Keller (1902) The Open Door
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“At last – a book which unmasks the actions and motives of the anti-science, anti-technology neoenvironmentalists, who have ropagandized the world into propagandized the world into chemophobia” Normal E. Borlaug, blPi i d b Nobel Prize winner and member, National Academy of Science USA 1984
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Natural Mutagens and Carcinogens in Food Agent Source Safrole Sassafras oil, black pepper ydrazines dible mushrooms Hydrazines Edible mushrooms Furocoumarins Celery, parsnips, figs, parsley Glycoalkaloids Potato Theobromine Chocolate Allylisothiocyanate Mustard, horseradish Aflatoxin Moldy grain, peanuts Heterocyclic amines Cooked meats lcohol everages Alcohol Beverages Ames BN (1983) Science 221:1256-1264 “99.99% of pesticides we ingest are natural”
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Natural = Safe? ow about arsenic? How about arsenic? 30 million people at risk in India and Bangladesh
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hould carcinogens be Should carcinogens be banned? Does it depend on exposure levels and potency of action?
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Basis for Banning Heptachlor* and Chlordane – 1975 Imminent hazard provision: “No unreasonable effect on the environment” A. Animal carcinogen (rats and mice) 1. Known human carcinogens are animal carcinogens, so vice versa also 2. Rodents appropriate models (“Totally different metabolism”?) B. Extrapolation (no direct evidence of human effects) 1. Persistent (half life many years) 2.
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Perspective on Risk - Perspectives on Risk Problem Humans...

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