Environmental and Human Health Risk Assessment of Chemicals

Course content

The purpose of the course is to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of the current risk assessment procedures for chemicals within the European Union.

The course will give a general introduction to underlying values and potential conflicts concerning risk management, including 1) the ethics of risk, the normative content of risk, measurement and comparison of risks, risk communication and risk perception studies; and 2) general risk management principles, including the separation of risk assessment and risk management, principles for acceptable risk and the Precautionary Principle.

The following risk assessment frameworks will be presented: REACH, pesticides, biocides, veterinary medicines and feed additives, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food additives. For each, the practical implications for conducting risk assessment of a chemical are identified, including the type of data needed for exposure and effect assessments and the requirements for these within the different risk assessment frameworks. Also, the legal structure and the risk management principles underlying each framework will be identified and discussed in the light of alternative risk management options.

The course will conclude by introducing the emerging challenges from new contaminants (e.g., endocrine disruptors, nanomaterials) and cocktail effects.

Education

MSc Programme in Environmental Science

Learning outcome

Competences:

• Analyze and discuss the principles underlying currently used regulatory frameworks for risk assessment of chemicals within the EU

• Discuss data requirements for human health and environmental risk assessments of chemicals within various risk assessment frameworks

• Discuss potential solutions to emerging challenges for risk assessment and risk management.

• Discuss, apply and critically evaluate methods for effect and exposure assessment of chemicals within the various risk assessment frameworks

 

Skills:

• Classify chemicals according to their hazards to humans and the environment

• Identify relevant data for human health and environmental risk assessments of chemicals within the various risk assessment frameworks

• Apply and critically evaluate methods for effect and exposure assessment of chemicals within the various risk assessment frameworks

• Identify the risk management principles underlying specific risk assessment frameworks.

• Identify emerging challenges for specific risk assessment frameworks

 

Knowledge:

• Overview of the following frameworks for chemical risk assessment in the EU: REACH, pesticides, biocides, human medicines, food additives, as well as veterinary medicines, biocides, and feed additives and, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food additives.

• Identify emerging challenges for risk assessment and risk management, including endocrine disruptors nanoparticles and cocktail effects.

• Overview of the ethics of risk and general risk management principles

• Describe basic findings in risk perception studies

Lectures, case studies, exercises. Two written assignments (course reports).

The course literature will be collected in a compendium, which will be available before course start.

Competences equivalent to the following mandatory courses in the M.Sc. programme Environmental Chemistry and Health: Toxicology and Ecotoxicology, Environmental Epidemiology, Air Pollution and Health, Aquatic Environmental Chemistry, and Terrestrial Environmental Chemistry.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Written
Oral
Individual
Collective
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Continuous personal and collective oral feedback is given during the exercises. Students receive personal written and oral peer feedback on their written assignments as well as personal written and collective oral feedback from the teacher.

ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, 12h
12 hour take home assignment
Aid
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 36
  • Preparation
  • 122
  • Practical exercises
  • 36
  • Exam
  • 12
  • English
  • 206