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2005

Risk

Probability

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Against 'Individual Risk': A Sympathetic Critique Of Risk Assessment, Matthew D. Adler Mar 2005

Against 'Individual Risk': A Sympathetic Critique Of Risk Assessment, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

"Individual risk" currently plays a major role in risk assessment and in the regulatory practices of the health and safety agencies that employ risk assessment, such as EPA, FDA, OSHA, NRC, CPSC, and others. Risk assessors use the term "population risk" to mean the number of deaths caused by some hazard. By contrast, "individual risk" is the incremental probability of death that the hazard imposes on some particular person. Regulatory decision procedures keyed to individual risk are widespread. This is true both for the regulation of toxic chemicals (the heartland of risk assessment), and for other health hazards, such as ...