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Ecology Law Quarterly

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risk assessments, health law, superfund sites, environmental protection


Health Law and Policy | Law


The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) is scheduled for reauthorization in the spring of 1995, and Congress must decide either to continue the Superfund program in its current form or to modify it in some manner. Congress cannot sensibly decide how to reauthorize CERCLA without understanding the program's progress toward one of its fundamental missions: the reduction of risks to human health and the environment from uncontrolled hazardous waste sites... This article is structured in six sections. Section I provides background on how risk assessment data are used at Superfund sites.Section II details the construction and organization of our data base. Section III reports the results of our analysis regarding the distribution of cancer and noncancer exposure pathways from seventy-eight Superfund sites. Section IV explores the magnitude of the risks associated With different pathways, and section V breaks down the risks attributable to each of the chemicals most commonly found in our site analysis. We conclude with the implications for managing risk that these results provide and how they may contribute to the CERCLA reauthorization process.



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