||The four key
components of health risk assessment (RA) were described at some length in the first
lecture. In short, risk characterization is the final step in which hazard identification
and exposure information are brought together to describe and estimate the overall health
risk from exposure of the toxic agent at issue.
The RA process is not only bound by
social values and public concerns, but at some government levels or organizations also
fragmented primarily because of limited resources and focus. It is due to this type of
fragmentation and limits that toxicology and epidemiology cannot always play an important
role in RA in promoting public health (PH). Accordingly, much of the discussion presented
in the slides that follow is intended to delineate the areas in which epidemiology and
toxicology can or cannot improve the RA process as well as PH.