Module 8

Information from Course Outline
Module 8, Closes Monday, October 28
Introduction to Risk Assessment and Ecological Risk Assessment. (A reading assignment is given in Submodule 8A, page 1, and 8C, page 3.)

Earlier we learned that we could identify hazardous and toxic material by its presence on certain lists or if it had certain properties. We also learned that many hazardous and toxic materials are not on those lists. Theoretically, all the chemicals and wastes on the list were put there because of an evaluation of the risk of those chemicals. That is, a risk assessment was done. Sometimes a stated level of contaminant was allowed by the list. That meant that a risk evaluation had indicated that levels below that were "safe." Often we find hazardous or toxic materials have already been discharged to the environment. What then? Superfund also has a risk assessment process, used both to allocate money for the cleanups and to determine the level of contamination that will be permitted after the cleanup. Almost always, the cleanup itself will generate hazardous wastes that have to be transported, treated, or stored. Risks to the environment are processed slightly differently than direct risks to humans.

Learning Modules
Submodule 8A
Submodule 8B
Risk Assessment ; Q&A
Submodule 8C
Ecological Risk Q&A
  New Closure

There are 25 points for this module's homework. a.) 10 points for the auto-quiz you access through Blackboard, b.) 8 points for the assignment relating to risk assessment, c.) 5 points for the Pirate discussion, d.) 2 points for the message to the instructor.

a.) Access the quiz through Blackboard. A copy of the quiz is found here. Several questions on the quiz require you to look at some things up that are not in the learning submodules directly, and may ask for information from earlier module's closure modules.

b.) For the assignment relating to Risk Assessment go the EPA superfund site, that has RODS (Explained in Submodule 8B) Select RODs from three different sites not in your home state. Describe in a paragraph for each site: what the site was used for, the contamination, and what sort of risk assessment process, if any, was used to make the decision. Put the URL of the site in your description. (Some RODs are very short sketchy, you will probably have to skim several RODs to find some that lend themselves to a good discussion.)

c.) For the group discussion: Each of you read the Scientific American Article Pirate Fear, see 8C, page 3. Your group has been selected to advise the Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Public Health about the product. Have a brain storming session to decide what you will tell her. (Since this article was published, the EPA and Mississippi have made decisions about Pirate. You might want have two parts to your discussion, what you have advised her then, and what happened since.)

d.) Message to the Instructor. Mention one thing you found interesting or something you did not know before, and one thing you found foggy or incomplete. Extra credit for pointing out typo's or glitches in the material to the instructor.


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