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Lead (Pb) Research and the Risk Paradigm

EPA connects environmental exposures, adverse outcomes, and risk reduction actions using a risk paradigm. The risk paradigm includes both risk characterization and risk management. Risk characterization is made up of four critical steps:

  1. Hazard identification,
  2. Dose-response assessment,
  3. Exposure assessment, and
  4. Risk characterization.

Each of these four steps is needed to understand the risk to human or environmental health associated with a specific chemical or other hazard. Risk management, in turn, incorporates understanding treatment, remediation, and control options; regulatory requirements on a federal, state, and local level; and other social and economic factors that might impact the success of an individual risk management plan.

EPA is currently conducting (lead) research across every aspect of the environment and at critical life stages to understand and manage risks associated with exposure to lead.