SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
  17 March 2011
Volume 12 Issue 3

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Risk assessment

SETAC Human Health Risk Assessment Advisory Group

Bonnie Bailey

The newly formed North American Human Health Risk Assessment Advisory Group (HHRA AG) had its first meeting at the SETAC North America conference held in Portland, Oregon on 8 November 2010. Over the next year, the HHRA AG will focus on increasing the visibility and practice of human health risk assessment within SETAC. This will be accomplished by developing and sponsoring technical sessions and other activities that focus the science and art of evaluating environmental exposures, toxicity and human health risk and hazards. Currently this group is under SETAC North America, but if there is sufficient global interest, it may become a global advisory group.

The HHRA AG will serve as a scientific resource to all stakeholders impacted by the topic of human health exposures and risk related to contaminants in the environment, and will fulfill the following mission and purpose:

  • Serve as a focal point within SETAC and a means of involving the membership in research and discussions.
  • Stimulate critical assessment in order to establish the best available science.
  • Encourage the worldwide incorporation of the best available science and strategic approaches.
  • Advance the overall understanding of the fate, effects, and potential health consequences of environmental contaminants.
  • Provide scientific support to ensure effective regulatory decision making.
  • Provide a neutral platform and focal point for collaborative identification, evaluation, and resolution of scientific issues.

The Portland meeting was well attended (~40 people) and included a lively discussion moderated by Betty Locey (ARCADIS ), the HHRA AG chair. Much of the hour-long meeting was spent discussing what two or three technical topics the group would like to focus on in the next year and what type of activities to promote. Suggestions were many and included: nanomaterials, harmonizing human health and eco risk assessment, looking at the entire human community (public health model), mapping/GIS, genomic technologies, bioavailability, food safety/drinking water, environmental justice, risk communication/risk perception, indoor chemical fate and behavior, secondary exposure, multi-pathway exposure, sediment, endocrine disruptors, ecosystem services, green initiatives, and pharmacological and personal care products. The planning will continue during monthly conference calls.

The HHRA AG plans to sponsor at least one session and/or a plenary session at the SETAC North America conference next year in Boston. If you are interested in joining the HHRA AG or would like to included in further emails, please go to your membership profile on the SETAC website and check Human Health Risk Assessment in the list of Advisory Groups. You will automatically be added to the group listserve and gain access to the group’s “communities” forum. You may also contact Betty Locey at

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