Risk assessment
Risk assessment provides an objective, technical evaluation 
of the likelihood of unacceptable impacts to human health
and the environment. The purpose is to assess the need for
protective measures, since a specific risk assessment
is a precondition for any such protective measures.
Risk assessments provide a qualitative or quantitative 
evaluation of the risk posed to human health and the environment
by the actual or potential presence of pollutants. Risk
assessments are conducted for a number of reasons, including:
to establish whether an ecological risk exists or not; to
identify the need for additional data collection; to focus
on the dangers of a specific pollutant or the risks posed
to a specific site; to help develop contingency plans and
other responses to pollutant releases.
The assessment and management of land contamination
risks involves three main components:
- the source of contamination (e.g. metal polluted soils,
a leaking oil drum);
- the receptor (ie the entity that could be adversely
affected by the contamination); and
- the pathway (the route by which a receptor could come
into contact with the contaminating substances).
For quantitative risk assessment tools, procedures
and models are used.
Click for Technical Summary

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