Alternative Risk Assessment Methodology
Notice of Availability of Contract for Evaluating, Testing, and Reporting of Alternative Risk Assessment Methods (Phase II).
The Minnesota Department of Health has issued a Request for Proposals (PDF: 208KB/23 pages) for the purpose of evaluating a draft decision tree that uses the alternative risk methodologies identified in Phase I of the project to provide a rapid assessment of potential health risks from contaminants in drinking water. The decision tree provides a stepwise process of assessment starting with little or no contaminant toxicity data and conservative benchmark values and progressing to more in-depth assessment and increasing levels of requisite toxicity information. The complete Phase I final draft report (link to executive summary provided below) and the State's draft decision tree are available upon request by emailing Michele Ross at email@example.com.
Proposals submitted in response to the Request for Proposals must be received at the address below no later than 4 p.m. Central Time on June 12, 2013. Late proposals will not be considered. Fax or emailed proposals will not be considered.
A written request (by direct mail, email, or fax) by May 29, 2013 is required to receive a hard copy of the Request for Proposal. After May 29, 2013, the Request for Proposal will be emailed.
The Request for Proposal can be obtained from:
Environmental Review and Program Coordinator
Minnesota Department of Health
625 North Robert Street
St. Paul, MN 55164-0975
What is this project and why are we doing it?
MDH uses an established risk assessment methodology to estimate health risks from chemicals. However, sometimes there is not enough information about a chemical to use this methodology. Therefore, MDH hired a contractor to research alternative risk assessment methods in order to estimate health risks when limited information is available. This project will:
- Identify, describe, critique, and test alternative risk assessment methods.
- Develop recommendations on evaluating life-stage sensitivity, susceptible populations, uncertainties and gaps in available data, and health risks from chemical mixtures.
- Develop a process to provide health guidance to the public and regulators for chemicals with limited data.
- Advance scientific and policy discussions regarding alternative risk assessment methods for chemicals with limited data.
- Expand the number of available risk assessment methods for evaluating potential human health risks from contaminants in drinking water.
- Educate staff so that they can appropriately select and use a variety of alternative risk assessment methods for a wide range of chemicals.
What are some key outcomes?
The final draft report for the first phase of the project was submitted in July 2012. The final draft report includes a description of ten alternative methods and an analysis of their suitability for use by MDH as interpreted by MDH’s contractor for this work. This final draft report was not prepared by MDH staff, however, MDH staff made limited revisions for the sake of clarity, correction, or formatting. The final draft report does not represent official agency policy. An Executive Summary [PDF: 210KB/17 pages] of the final draft report is available. The full final draft report (2,565 KB/251 pages), including all figures and tables, is available upon request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will MDH use this information?
MDH staff have used the draft report to start work on a second project. The new project will help MDH decide how to use alternative methods. MDH will have a contractor use the different methods to generate risk advice for specific substances (including CEC chemicals) and compare and evaluate the results. For example, it may be possible to generate and compare different water concentrations from knowing just the structure of the chemical, the toxicity of closely related chemicals, or the toxicity of larger sets of unrelated chemicals.