Multi-Pathway and Cumulative Risk Assessment

Selecting Optimal Pollution Prevention Strategies
  • Douglas J. Crawford-Brown
  • Hwong-Wen Ma


Most pollution control strategies can be characterized as a single -medium, single pollutant, approach. Such an approach begins by dividing the environment into three primary compartments: air, water, and land (soil). Pollution problems then are grouped into three categories: air pollution, water pollution, and solid waste pollution problems. In the single-medium approach, these three categories of problems are managed independently without consideration of their interactions. For example, major air pollution sources may be required to install the best available control technologies (BACT) based purely on consideration of the risk from releases to air; industrial wastewater dischargers may be required to meet best available technology (BAT) effluent limitations based solely on the risk from releases to water; and RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) and CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act) impose restrictions on the options for land disposal of solid waste (Guruswamy, L, 1990; NRC, 1987; Rao, 1995) based solely on the risk from such routes of disposal. Similarly, the choice of manufacturing processes and pollution control technologies often reflects concern for a single pollutant, while a facility may emit literally dozens of chemicals, metals, etc.


Dispersion Coefficient Hazard Index Environmental Medium Grid Block Exposure Pathway 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Covello, V. T. and M. W. Merkhofer, (1993) Risk Assessment Methods: Approaches for Assessing Health and Envronmental Risks, Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  2. Crawford-Brown, D. J. (1997) Theoretical and Mathematical Foundations of Human Health Risk Analysis, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Daellenbach, H. G., (1994) Systems and Decision Making, John Wiley & Sons ltd., England.Google Scholar
  4. Davies, J. C, (1986) “A Multimedia Approach to Pollution Control: Cross-Media Problems,” in Y. Cohen, ed., Pollutants in a Multimedia Environment, Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  5. EPA (1989) Regulatory Impact Analysis of the Proposed Regulations for Sewage Sludge Use and Disposal, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  6. EPA (1992) U.S. EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), Office of Research and Development, Cincinnati.Google Scholar
  7. EPA. (1994) Guidance for Performing Screening Level Risk Analyses at Combustion Facilities Burning Hazardous Wastes, Office of Emergency and Remedial Response, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  8. Finley, G., (1994) “Recommended Distributions for Exposure Factors Frequently Used in Health Risk Assessment”, Risk Analysis, Vol. 14, No. 4,533–553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Guruswamy, L., (1990) “Integrated Pollution Control: The Way Forward,” Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law, Vol. 7, No. 2, 173–224.Google Scholar
  10. Hoffman, F. O. and J. S. Hammonds, (1994) “Propagation of Uncertainty in Risk Assessment: The Need to Distinguish Between Uncertainty Due to Lack of Knowledge and Uncertainty Due to Variability,” Risk Analysis, Vol. 14, No. 5, 707–712.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Irwin, F. H., (1992) “An Integrated Framework for Preventing Pollution and Protecting the Environment,” Environmental Law, Vol. 22, No. 1, 1–76.Google Scholar
  12. Lue-Hing, C. (1992) Municipal Sewage Sludge Management, Technomic Publishing Co., Inc., Lancaster.Google Scholar
  13. Miser, H. J. and E. S. Quade, (1985) Handbook for Systems Analysis: Overview of Uses, Procedures, Applications, and Practice, Elsevier Science Publishing Co.Inc, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Morgan, M. G. and M. Henrion, (1990) Uncertainty: A Guide to Dealing with Uncertainty in Quantitative Risk and Policy Analysis, Cambridge University Press, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. NRC (National Research Council) (1987) Multimedia Approaches to Pollution Control: A Symposium Proceedings, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  16. Rao, V. R., (1995) “Risk Management: Time for Innovative Approaches,” Environmental Management, Vol. 19, No. 3, 313–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Strenge, D. L. and P. J. Chamberlain, (1995) The Multimedia Environmental Pollutant Assessment System (MEPAS): Exposure Pathway and Human Health Impact Assessment Models, prepared for U.S.DOE at Battelle. Travis, C. C, (1987) “The Extent of Multimedia Partitioning of Organic Chemicals,” Chemosphere, Vol. 16, No. 1, 117–125.Google Scholar
  18. van Gigch, J. P., (1991) System Design, Modeling and Metamodeling, Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  19. Whelan, G., 1992) “Overview of the Multimedia Environmental Pollutant Assessment System (MEPAS),” Hazardous Waste & Hazardous Materials, Vol. 9, No. 2,191–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Whelan, G., (1996) The Multimedia Environmental Pollutant Assessment System (MEPAS): Groundwater Pathway Formulations, prepared for U.S.DOE at Battelle.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas J. Crawford-Brown
    • 1
  • Hwong-Wen Ma
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences and EngineeringUniversity of North CarolinaUSA

Personalised recommendations