The Environmental Protection Agency’s “Cumulative Risk Webinar Series: What We Learned” report summarized 15 EPA webinars that examined issues important to advancing cumulative risk assessment. The 2014 report was co-authored by Dr. Devon C. Payne-Sturges, who was serving as the assistant center director for human health at EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research (NCER), prior to joining the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Public Health this fall.
The 15 webinars featured intramural and extramural EPA scientists, who discussed their research on how to assess combinations of multiple chemical, physical, and biological stressors, as well as how to account for populations’ vulnerabilities. Designed to advance the science on cumulative risk assessment, the public webinars also featured discussion with the audience, which included academia, nonprofits, public agencies, environmental justice advocates, and others.
“Accounting for multiple exposures and cumulative risk in environmental decisions has long been a challenge,” said Dr. Payne-Sturges, assistant professor in the School of Public Health’s Maryland Institute of Applied Environmental Health. “In this report, we identify important science and science policy issues related to improving cumulative risk assessment science and practice.”
Key issues for advancing cumulative risk assessment (CRA) identified in the webinar report, included:
“It is our hope, through presenting this summary of the CRA webinar series, that EPA and its stakeholders will be inspired to continue the effort to move away from an approach that assesses the impact of one source, one agent on the average person toward the use of environmental and environmental health assessments and evaluations that better reflect reality, especially when setting policy and making regulatory decisions,” wrote Dr. Payne-Sturges and co-author Mr. Lawrence Martin, science coordinator for the Risk Assessment Forum at the EPA’s Office of the Science Advisor.
The full EPA report, along with links to the archived webinars, may be viewed at: http://www.epa.gov/ncer/cra/webinars/cra-webinar-summary.pdf