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Human Health Risks

This page contains links to information regarding human health effects from contaminants at Superfund sites and addressing human health risks posed by contamination at Superfund sites.

Risk Assessment - Superfund risk assessments determine how threatening a hazardous waste site is to human health and the environment. Risk Assessors seek to determine a safe level for each potentially dangerous contaminant present. For humans, this is a level at which ill health effects are unlikely and the probability of cancer is very small. This Web site contains information on the Superfund risk assessment process and links to various risk assessment guidance documents.

Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund, Volume I - Human Health Evaluation Manual Part A (RAGS Part A) - RAGS Part A provides on the human health evaluation activities that are conducted during the baseline risk assessment at Superfund sites. The baseline risk assessment is an analysis of the potential adverse health effects (current or future) caused by hazardous substance releases from a site in the absence of any actions to control or mitigate these releases (i.e., under an assumption of no action). The baseline risk assessment contributes to the site characterization and subsequent development, evaluation, and selection of appropriate response alternatives. The results of the baseline risk assessment are used to help determine whether additional response action is necessary at the site, modify preliminary remediation goals, help support selection of the "no- action" remedial alternative, where appropriate, and document the magnitude of risk at a site, and the primary causes of that risk.

Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) - The Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) is an electronic data base containing information on human health effects that may result from exposure to various chemicals in the environment.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Toxicological Profiles - By Congressional mandate, ATSDR produces "toxicological profiles" for hazardous substances found at Superfund sites. These profiles characterize the toxicologic and adverse health effects of these hazardous substances.

ATSDR ToxFAQs - The ATSDR ToxFAQsTM is a series of summaries about hazardous substances. Information for this series is excerpted from the ATSDR Toxicological Profiles and Public Health Statements.

TOXMAP Environmental Health e-Maps - TOXMAP is a Geographic Information System (GIS) from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) that uses maps of the United States to help users visually explore data from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and Superfund Programs.