chapter  1
48 Pages

Introduction to Risk Assessment with a Nod to History

What a piece of work is a man, How noble in Reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, In action how like an Angel!

William Shakespeare The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark, Act II, Scene 2, 1963

At the outset of the twenty-first century, technology and industrialization have provided advantages for much of the world’s population-but technology is a double-edged sword. Twenty-first-century technology affords us many benefits, including advances in medical care and pharmaceutical products, cell phones, microwave ovens, and mass transit-but industrialization has, as a downside, a legacy of waste, and the people of the world cannot enjoy the benefits of technology without dealing with the associated hazards.