Risk assessment

Risk assessment is an overall process comprising a risk analysis (systematic use of available information to identify hazards and estimate the risk) and a risk evaluation (procedure based on the risk analysis to determine whether tolerable risk has been exceeded).

A toxicological risk assessment consists of three steps:

  • Identifying the significant health hazards/risks that are present
    • Literature review
    • Safety tests to identify the potential risks
  • Identify acceptable risk (harm versus benefits)
    • Literature review
    • Safety test results
  • Reduce the risk to an acceptable level
    • Risk control management


Toxic – capable of causing injury or death, especially by chemical means

Toxicological hazard – potential for a compound or material to cause an adverse biological reaction, taking into account the nature of the reaction and the dose required to elicit it

Toxicological risk – probability of a specified degree of an adverse reaction occurring in response to a specified level of exposure

Toxicity – the degree to which a substance is toxic