Our team assesses human exposures to chemicals that may occur in the workplace, via the environment and in consumer items including foods, drugs and a wide array of products such as fabrics, building materials and household products. Understanding exposures is critical to determining actions necessary and appropriate to reduce or eliminate them, and to comply with regulatory frameworks around the world.
Alongside advising clients across industry, our scientists actively engage in developing creative research and evaluation methodologies, leading technical symposia and publishing in the most respected scientific journals. This commitment to practicing at the leading edge of science brings added value and key insights to every client matter, no matter how straightforward or challenging.
Strategic application of risk assessment
Understanding risks to human health is fundamental to the safe manufacture, distribution, use and disposal of chemicals and products. When human health threats are identified, a number of actions may follow, for example ingredients may have to be eliminated or substituted, contaminated environments may have to be remediated, processes re-engineered, or workers may need better protection. We support our clients through technically robust and commercially viable recommendations that serve to protect human health and the environment.
With expertise across the range of disciplines essential to risk assessment, we can tackle any question regarding the safety of a product or the health risks associated with final intended use, environmental and occupational exposures. We work with clients to clearly define the issue and then apply the most appropriate type and level of analysis. Where adequate evidence is lacking, we help design and execute the studies to generate reliable data to effectively address the gap. We critically evaluate and synthesise all relevant evidence to provide a sound scientific basis for decision making and risk management.
Regulatory support service
Regulatory and public health agencies around the world use risk assessment to inform regulations. Our regulatory support services provide independent and rigorous evaluations of the science, methods and assumptions used to determine the risks associated with products and exposures and to derive exposure limits that are protective of health, often even before these materials have been formally regulated or assessed by regulators. We also provide advice and support where different regulatory processes result in outcomes that are not harmonious. Our team brings a thorough understanding of both the science and the regulatory requirements around the world.
Industry faces increasing regulatory pressure and public scrutiny related to potential risks associated with exposures to chemicals or products, whether encountered in the home or workplace, or because they are present in air, water, soil or at measureable levels in humans and the food chain. Assessing health risks and product safety is grounded in the integration of exposure science, toxicology and epidemiology, and requires scientists who specialise in the practical application of concepts and methods of all of these disciplines. Our experts assess risks associated with the entire lifecycle of chemicals and other substances, and use risk-based tools to assess the sustainability of both the production of existing products and of possible alternatives to those products.
Understanding the context in which a risk problem arises is critical when authoritative advice is needed to support legal action. Our scientists have expertise in determining which types of analyses are appropriate in the world of toxic tort and product liability litigation, and how they may differ from analyses required in regulatory contexts. They excel in explaining complex scientific and technical aspects of health and health risks in a wide range of settings, including public hearings, expert panels, symposia and the courtroom.
Advancing the science of risk assessment
We are regularly asked to provide the most accurate assessments of risk that current science can provide, or comment on the merit of such approaches. While many risk assessments may conform to methods favoured by regulatory agencies, they may not necessarily involve the best available science or represent the situation well. Our scientists assess the fundamental biological processes that lead to toxicity, are experienced in the complexities that can be associated with epidemiological data, and bring clarity to exposure assessment, through measurement and modelling of external and internal exposures (e.g. using PBPK models). We have published extensively in these areas and have provided leading-edge work to advance the science of risk assessment.
Effective risk communication has to be tailored for the target audiences, which may be scientific peers, regulatory authorities, affected communities, workers or judges and juries. Ramboll Environ’s thorough understanding of risk, and the best methods for evaluating it, ideally positions us to engage in what are often difficult and sometimes controversial communication scenarios. Many of our health scientists are involved in teaching and are called upon as faculty for risk assessment and management workshops and seminars.