Environmental Risk Assessment
This chapter provides a brief introduction to the concepts of environmental risk assessment (ERA). It aims to present the readers with information as to how to combine the knowledge about concentration of a polluting component with the properties of the component to assess the environmental risk. ERA may be considered a diagnostic tool. The concentration in the environment of a polluting component is usually known by analyses, or it can be estimated or be found more or less indirectly by environmental modeling (see, for instance, Jørgensen and Fath, 2011 and Chapter 9). The properties of the polluting components that are usually more difficult to assess than the EECs have been covered in Chapters 3 and 6, and methods to estimate the properties have been presented in Chapter 4. An integration of all sources and their effects is needed before it is possible to apply the diagnostic tools that are discussed in Chapters 9 and 10. This section introduces the idea and basic concept of ERA, while the last section presents ERA step by step.