Keywords: causation, decision making, law, risks, uncertainty, regulatory assessment, health hazards, environmental hazards, risk assessment, standards, precautionary criteria, information values
Towards a golden standard for the regulatory assessment of health and environmental hazards: Part 1
We review the proposed US Office of Management and Budget's Risk Assessment Standards (2006) and similar developments in the EU. While we find that the OMB has made a useful contribution, it does not satisfy the command of the Data Quality Act because its guidance is insufficient for the stated purpose. Following the more technical discussions developed in this part, we conclude that the regulatory risk assessment ? as a means to inform decision-making under precautionary criteria ? should be based on several considerations that include: risks are probabilities; hazards are physical events likely to produce an adverse outcome with some probability; Bayesian methods support well-informed precautionary regulations in the face of incomplete and possibly incorrect knowledge at the time of regulatory formulation; resilient and thus retractable options are essential; and regulatory analyses must account for values of information.