A Question of Standards

Salter, L., November 1992 (Paper 29)

The concept of "risk" is a relatively recent. In previous eras scientists assessed the effects and implications of particular chemicals, policy makers dealt with potentially dangerous chemicals and the public was mainly concerned with spills and accidents, dangers and safety levels. Standards are numbers that indicate the level of contamination considered to be safe. Standards comprise the foundation for risk assessment.

A Study of Mortality in Canadian Cities

Siddall, E., January 1989 (Paper 13)

This paper investigates the development of a "people-centred" approach rather than "source centered" relation to risk. It attempts to bring out what is important among the immense variety of risks, natural and artificial to which human life in the advanced societies is exposed and what broad factors in the human environment are likely to be having an effect on on levels of safety.

Addressing Decision Making Capacity in Northern Communities: An Integrative Approach

Furgal, C., August 1996 (Paper 36)

In relation to the risks to health, culture, and economy and changes imposed by external influences such as environmental contaminants, three areas of research have made significant contributions to our knowledge, understanding, and the decision-making processes dealing with problems. Advances have been made in theory and practice in the areas of traditional knowledge and western science, benefit and risk management and community and regional planning and decision-making in approaching the issues related to northern community decision-making capacity. This paper describes these contributions and illustrates how they might be applied to the issues of capacity in dealing with public health and policy issues in the Canadian North.

Application of the Life Quality Index to the Risk-Cost-Benefit Analysis of Quarries Operation in Kuwait

Al-Ali, W., Pandey, M., Nathwani, J., April 1998 (Paper 37)

In this case study, the authors apply the Life Quality Method (LQI), developed by the Institute for Risk Research evaluating the environmental and health impacts associated with operation of quarries in Kuwait. The quarries contribute to degradation in air quality resulting from an increased concentration of particulate in the respirable range. The excess health effects have been documented.

Computer Programming in English

Siddall, E., June 1993 (Paper 33)

This paper is written as a consequence of the difficulties which arose from the use of computers for the first time in the direct automatic functional paths of the shutdown systems of the Darlington nuclear power plant in Ontario, Canada. It does not introduce another programming language. It urges that communication both ways between people and computers should be in the single well-established language that people use.

Conflict Analysis of an Acid Rain Dispute

Fang, L., Hipel, K.W., Kilgour, D.M., July 1990 (Paper 19)

Conflict analysis methodology is used to carry out a systematic study of an acid rain conflict in North America, specifically the issues surrounding transboundary pollution in the eastern United States and Canada in early 1989.

Conflict Analysis of Technological Risk

Yin, X., Hipel, K.W., Lind, N.C., February 1987 (Paper 10)

After introducing an explanation of cultural bias in the attitudes to technological risk using the cultural-environmental theory of perception, the approach of conflict analysis is employed to study technological disputes involving risk. A generalized model of conflict due to technological risk is presented and analyzed. In addition, the methodology is applied to a "real world" dispute involving the siting of liquified natural gas facilities in the Netherlands.

Conflict Analysis of the Darlington Nuclear Power Dispute

Fang, L., Hipel, K.W., Kilgour, D.M., May 1989 (Paper 14)

This paper deals with the conflict model that puts the various aspects of the Darlington conflict into proper perspective, and thereby furnishes decision makers and others an appropriate basis for reaching a better understanding of the dispute.

Correlation Between Carcinogenic Potency and the Maximum Tolerated Dose: Implications for Risk Assessment

Krewski, D., Gaylor, D.W., Soms, A.P., Szyszkowica, June 1993 (Paper 32)

Current practice in carcinogen bioassay calls for exposure of experimental animals at doses up to the maximum tolerated dose (MTD). Such studies have been used to compute measures of carcinogenic potency for predicting low dose risks. Recent studies have indicated that these measures of carcinogenic potency are highly correlated with the MTD. Carcinogenic potency has also been shown to be correlated with indicators of mutagenicity and toxicity. Correlation of the MTDs for rats and mice implies a corresponding correlation in TD50 values for these 2 species. The implications of these results for cancer risk assessment are examined in light of the large variation in potency among chemicals know to induce tumors in rodents.

Cross-Entropy Estimation of Random Variables with Fractile Constraints

Lind, N.C., Solana, V., March 1988 (Paper 11)

Assumptions about the distribution type for random variables in nature and technology can rarely be justified in risk analysis. They are here replaced by constraints of known fractiles obtained by random sampling. These fractile constraints can be defended on strong methodological grounds. A general solution of the minimum cross-entropy problem with fractile constraints is given.

Discounting in Risk Analysis: Capital vs. Human Safety

Paté-Cornell, M.E., December 1983 (Paper 7)

Common arguments against discounting in evaluation of prospects involving human health and safety are examined, departing from the reasons for discounting in economics and examining the circumstances under which they may be extended to life and limb. On the principle of treating future generations as we want to be treated today, author considers the amount of capital to be invested today to save a life at a time in the future and concludes that the same discount rate applies to capital and to lifesaving. Author concludes that the pretax marginal return on capital in society (excl. inflation), running mostly at 6-10% is an appropriate rate when cost-benefit analysis is at all acceptable, and suggests similar principles can be applied to spatial as to temporal comparison, e.g. to international situations.

Dose Response Models for Time to Response Toxicity Data

Kalbfleisch, J.D., Krewski, D., Van Ryzin, J., January 1983 (Paper 2)

This paper concerns the modelling and analysis of toxicity data in which the time to some toxic response is recorded and of importance, including dose response models, models for competing risks and possible approaches. Likelihood construction is discussed and appropriate likelihood contributions are derived. The paper concludes with a discussion of measures of risk which take account of the time dependence of the toxic response under study.

Dose-Response Relationships in Carcinogenesis

Krewski, D., Goddard, M.J., Zielinski, J.M., October 1992 (Paper 28)

Considerable information on the carcinogenic potential of chemical and radiological agents has accumulated from epidemiological and toxicological studies conducted to date. In this article we discuss dose-response relationships in carcinogenesis from both an empirical and theoretical point of view. Emphasis is placed on the application of biologically based models to describe observed dose-response relationships for exposure to single and multiple agents known to increase cancer risk. The implications of these observations for inferences about possible mechanisms of carcinogenesis are explored.

Enforcement of Environmental Laws and Regulations: A Literature Review

Fang, L., Hipel, K.W., Kilgour, D.M., June 1992 (Paper 24)

The effective enforcement of environmental laws and regulations is crucial for proper environmental risk management. As emphasized in Canada's Green Plan, which was recently released by the Government of Canada (1990, p. 156), "Legislation and regulation are only as good as their enforcement." This report contains a detailed literature survey covering verification theory, its applications, and current environmental enforcement policies in Canada and the United States. In addition, the applicability of verification theory to environmental enforcement policies is assessed.

Global Energy Use and Energy Alternatives in Relation to Economic and Social Well-Being

Nathwani, J.S., Siddall, Lind, N.C., December 1990 (Paper 22)

This paper summarizes the results of a study entitled "Management of Risks in The Public Interest: A Study of the Social and Economic Impacts of Energy," by N.C. Lind, J.S. Nathwani, E. Siddall. This study provides a framework for assessing the choices among alternatives. If the principle of maximizing the net benefit to society were to be considered a reasonable first step, the the proposals to reduce energy consumption, like all other proposals should also be subjected to a dispassionate assessment of the benefits and detriments.

Guide to Consultation Processes

Leiss, W., January 1993 (Paper 31)

This Guide incorporates the results of a workshop held at the Heron Road Training Centre, July 1991. The workshop was planned and sponsored by the Issues, Planning and Priorities Division of the Pesticides Directorate. The workshop participants developed in their small-group sessions case study applications based on an approach to consultation paths developed for this workshop. Therefore, this Guide is the produce of the combined efforts of all those involved.

Information Theory and Estimation of Random Variables

Lind, N.C., May 1989 (Paper 15)

A principle based on information theory is presented for the estimation of (distributions of) continuous random variables on the basis of sample data. An estimate pair (p,q), usually non-parametric, is found in 2 steps: first a reference distribution p is selected from a restricted model and next a posterior distribution q is selected satisfying the "sample rule."

Interactive Selection of Minimum Risk Routes for Dangerous Goods Shipments

Saccomanno, F.F., Van Aerde, M., Queen, D., April 1986 (Paper 9)

An interactive model for routing shipments of dangerous goods through an urban road network is presented and demonstrated. The model computes minimum risk routes based on each shipment's origin and destination, and illustrates graphically the selected paths.

Issues and Challenges in Risk Communication and the Mass Media

Craig, L., ed., March 1990 (Paper 17)

Report on a workshop held October 1989 sponsored by the Asbestos Institute, Health and Welfare Canada and the Institute for Risk Research to explore the risk communication concerns of representatives from media, industry, government and academia.

Management of Gross Error in Design and Construction of Structures

Lind, N.C., February 1983 (Paper 3)

This paper develops a strategy for allocating resources to inspection and control of structures. The formulation entails a classification by attributes of the design of the structure or its production process available to the inspecting authority before completion. The approach is minimization of the total amount of inspection subject to constant expected failure loss. The solution involves the probability of failure for each structural class and its derivation with respect to the amount of control.

Management of Risks in the Public Interest: A Study of the Social and Economic Impacts of Energy

Nathwani, J.S., Lind, N.C., Siddall, E., December 1990 (Paper 20)

This paper is a brief summary of the scope, the theme and the major conclusions of a study entitled "Management of Risk in the Public Interest: A Study of the Social & Economic Impacts of Energy," by N.C. Lind, J.S. Nathwani, E. Siddall. The study is a model framework for making decisions about risks and benefits and how the basis for such decisions can be improved through a more rational and scientific approach.

Measurement of Safety in Relation to Social Well-Being

Lind, N.C., Nathwani, J.S., Siddall, E. December 1990 (Paper 23)

Maximizing the expected total net benefit - the classical utilitarian objective - is proposed as the goal of regulation of hazardous technology in the public interest. In particular, 2 very similar criteria are presented for net benefit assessment of a project or a proposed regulation: the HDI criterion, derived from the Human Development Index (HDI) due to the United Nations Development Programme, and the LPI criterion, derived from first principles in this paper. The application is illustrated by an example.

Objective Probabilities for Unique Objects

Hasofer, A.M., July 1983 (Paper 4)

A framework for setting up objective probabilistic models to deal with unique objects is proposed. The main ideas are: a) Randomness is a property of the model, not of the object under study; b) Following K.R. Popper, a model is termed objective if it is falsifiable; c) The probability measure in the model need not be operationally defined; d) The model is deemed falsified if an event of extremely low probability under the model occurs; e) The usefulness of a probabilistic model resides in its ability to estimate potentially observable quantities as a function of the given data. The probability parameters must not appear in the final algorithm. The proposed framework provides a rationale for using Bayesian decision theory in the design of unique facilities, such as nuclear power plant, dams or civil engineering structures design without recourse to a subjectivist interpretation of probability.

On the Processing of Doubtful Information: Part 1: General Theory

Rosenblueth, E., August 1983 (Paper 5)

Owing to inaccuracy or imprecision in measurements, to error, or to insincerity, the opinions expressed by two or more experts can differ; even those expressed by a singe expert can differ from each other. In the framework of bayesian statistics a method is developed for calculating the probability that each of a set of hypotheses about the phenomenon in question be true using the information previously available about the witnesses and updating it as a function of the statements uttered. In a parallel approach the paper also deals with the distributions of the parameters of probability distribution, including the case of outliers. A tool is thus available for aggregating inconsistent information.

On the Processing of Doubtful Information: Part 2: Gaussian Distributions

Rosenblueth, E., Ferregut, C., December 1983 (Paper 6)

A previously described bayesian method for calculating the probability that each of a set of hypotheses about a phenomenon be true is specialized for gaussian variables. A first group of problems considers the data belongs either to a population of valid values or a population of false values. The cases of unknown mean and unknown mean and variance are analyzed. A second group of problems considers the situation in which the population of valid values consists of subpopulations. The problem of outliers is studied in parallel, and several sensitivity analyses are carried out.

Optimal Safety Levels Via Social Indicators

Lind., N.C., Nathwani, J.S., July 1992 (Paper 26)

The purpose of this paper is to show how quantitative criteria within the context of an appropriate framework can be used to guide risk management decisions. Social indicators are statistics, time series that reflect some aspect of the quality of life in a society or group of individuals. Development, validation and use of social indicators is an important current research activity. Social indicators serve to provide quantitative measures for assessing the rationales and effectiveness of public decision-making.

Resources and Environmental Policy

Narveson, J., December 1992 (Paper 30)

This paper is a partly empirical and mostly conceptual inquiry into the notion of Resources. Current "Environmentalists" evidently think of resources as natural, identifying them with quantities of stuff. They suppose that such resources must be finite in amount and therefore scarce. This way of thinking is argued to be entirely wrong.

Risk-Benefit Balancing in Risk Management: Measures of Benefits and Detriments

Nathwani, J.S., Lind, N.C., Siddall, E., March 1990 (Paper 18)

Improvements in risk management practices are possible on the basis of a rational approach to comparisons of benefits and detriments of a course of action and the alternatives to that course of action. A conceptual framework within which a systematic assessment of technology options are made in such a way that all the important consequences, both direct, indirect and the intangibles can be treated in a consistent manner is proposed.

Risk and Its Metaphors

Whittaker, J., July 1994 (Paper 35)

This paper is not a scholarly dissertation on metaphor, nor a report of extensive research. It is a speculative essay, conjecture, presumption, an idea. 1. We cope with those things we do not, and cannot, understand by metaphorically transforming them into the world of the familiar. 2. The metaphors we choose have a strong influence on how we think, and what things we read are relevant. 3. In the area of risks analysis & assessment, we have chosen inappropriate metaphors that are leading us in non-productive directions. 4. Our present understanding of elements of the risk situation is such that we should be able to construct more productive metaphors.

Risks in Environmentalism - Comments on the Green Plan

Bennett, C.R., August 1992 (Paper 27)

This paper demonstrates that most environmental regulatory proposals are based upon inadequate scientific knowledge. In many cases they are firmly founded upon the wrong scientific assumptions, particularly where public health is concerned. Most of the work by scientists of Health & Welfare Canada and in the U.S. appears to be ignored and resource is made to 30 years old environmentalist dogma. This may serve a political agenda but the economic effects are felt mostly by the poor whose requirements often do not include environmental contemplation.

Safety, Social Well-Being and Its Measurement

Nathwani, J.S., Lind, N.C., Siddall, E., December 1990 (Paper 21)

This paper is based on a summary of the results of a study entitled "Management of Risks in The Public Interest: A Study of the Social and Economic Impacts of Energy," by N.C. Lind, J.S. Nathwani, E. Siddall. The study develops the theme that the assessment of a project, or a major undertaking, in the public interest ought to be guided by the principle of maximizing the net benefit to society.

Smoking: Science, Ethics and Action

Siddall, E., April 1988 (Paper 12)

One of the greatest risks to which the citizens of Canada are now exposed results from smoking cigarettes. This article attempts to analyze the situation and the problem and to suggest what should be done.

Statistical Analysis of Accident Rates for Large Trucks of Differing Configurations

Saccomanno, F.F., Read, S., November 1989 (Paper 16)

An analysis of factors affecting large truck accident rates is presented. A series of GLIM loglinear models are calibrated to measure the strength of association between accident rates for different truck configurations and various road, vehicle and driver characteristics. These models are calibrated based on Ontario accident and exposure data for a four year period, 1983 to 1986.

Strategic Analysis of the Detroit Incinerator Conflict

Soltani, S., Shortreed, J.H., Hipel, K.W., June 1992 (Paper 25)

This paper studies the development of a dispute arising over the construction and operation of a municipal waste incinerator in Detroit, Michigan, using the Conflict Analysis methodology (CA) developed by Fraser and Hipel as an extension of Howards' metagame analysis. The methodology has been previously applied to various real world problems such as military and water allocation disputes.

Survival Discount Rates

Needleman, L., July 1982 (Paper 1)

This paper discusses valuing changes in the risk of dying in the near future (e.g. changes that follow from changing lifestyles), finding the present value of changes in risk spread over several years, the concept of the survival discount rate, theoretical framework and empirical estimates of survival discount rates.

The Unintended Social Risks of Nuclear Waste Disposal

Nathwani, J.S., March 1994 (Paper 34)

This paper discusses the issue of nuclear fuel waste disposal and the perception of a wide spectrum of risks to individuals, society and the environment. Although the spectrum is broad and the duration of the potential radiological hazard long, it is not to be thought that the risk is necessarily large or is more uncertain than many other risks.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods: Some Policy Options

Shortreed, J.H., September 1985 (Paper 8)

It is estimated that the use and transport of dangerous goods is increasing at 10-15% per year. This paper addresses major risks of transportation issues. Policy issues of dangerous goods movements are debated in the public forum, can be highly emotional, are concerned with rare, but deadly events and have significant implications for the economy. It is important to understand the background to these factors and much of this paper is directed to this task.


John Shortreed 519-885-4027
Last Updated: January 13, 2009
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