Keywords: multiple risks, uncertainties, integrated assessment, risk assessment, policy, information, experts, stakeholders, opinion survey, interview, risk communication, EU regulation, European Union, environmental chemicals, registration evaluation authorisation of chemicals, REACH, risk management, participatory governance, stakeholder participation
Big pictures, close-ups, roadmaps and mind-maps: perspectives on integrated treatment of multiple risks
Integrated risk assessment is an attempt to deal with the management challenge of a multitude of risks or risk consequences. We studied perspectives of regulators, stakeholders and experts on cumulative risks from multiple stressors and on their integrated assessment in relation to environmental chemicals. We developed conceptual models of risk framing and risk information in policy contexts, and applied these models in empirical studies. These focused on internet surveys of expert views on cumulative risks and on the information needed for their regulatory management and for public debate; interviews with EU regulators and stakeholders regarding integrated regulatory risk assessment and management, specifically with REACH legislation; communication experiments at stakeholder meetings on participatory governance of multiple risks. The paper reports and discusses key findings, emphasising interactions of assessment and management, relationships between deliberation and precaution and the potential of integrated assessments to guide them, and roles of communication herein. On the basis of these findings we present recommendations for the development of risk assessment and governance.