Keywords: health risks, risk sources, safety standards, risk index, risk comparison, risk levels, decision making, risk assessment, chemicals, ionising radiation, low radiation, chemical pollutants, environmental pollution, public health, occupational health
Common approach to comparison and standardisation of health risk from different sources of harm
Current specific and different approaches in health risk assessment and establishing safety standards developed for chemicals, ionising radiation and other risk sources are analysed. Some recommendations are given to adopt the common approach. A specific risk index R has been proposed for safety decision making (establishing safety standards and other levels of protective actions, comparison of various sources of risk, etc.). Generic safety standards (GSS) for the public and for occupational workers have been suggested in terms of this index. Secondary specific safety standards have been derived from GSS for ionising radiation and a number of other risk sources including environmental chemical pollutants. Other general and derived levels for decision making have also been proposed including the 'de-minimus' level. Recommendations are given on methods and criteria for comparison of various sources of risk.