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   Course Title    An Introduction toAssessing Chronic Health Risk from Chemicals in the Environment Special Course Syllabus
Lecturer    Mikhail Moussatov
Institution    Novosibirsk State University
Country    Russian Fedaration


The Russian existing environmental standards (called PDK) for regulating normal industrial emissions are focused mainly on acute health concerns. However PDK ignores the large and important issue of chronic health effects from longer periods of exposure to pollutants. At the same time, the methodology of human risk assessment of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) and US Environmental Protection Agency, USEPA) becomes the international norm (for example, such as International Program on Chemical Safety, IPCS). We hope, that the Russian rules in the near future will also correspond to international norms. Therefore we believe, that the acquaintance with methodology USEPA/IPCS is necessary not only for the students of faculty of natural sciences (biologists, ecologists, medicals), but also for the students of economic faculty.


The offered course will be useful for the students of various specialties:

  1. for medicals, as it will help them to study socialized and industrial medicine and medical aspects of demography;
  2. for biologists and ecologists, because methodology of USEPA/IPCS allows to estimate and to predict a status of separate parts of ecological systems;
  3. for economists, because methodology of USEPA/IPCS can be used efficiently in such parts of economy, as «human capital» or «human development».


The pedagogical methods will include lectures, practical works and discussions. During practical works the students will use the data of the group of authors from Volgograds and Harvard University. These pilot studies were carried out in Russia according to the rules USEPA and the publication contains the initial data [3].The statistical computer programs will be used, besides for training for seminars and discussions the students will use the statistical data from national and international databases.


The first week

1. Lecture (2 hours)


  • main definitions and terminological agreement;
  • the methodology of risk assessment: from hazard identification leading to risk management and risk reduction.

2. Lecture (4 hours)

Assessing Risks to Human Health from Chemicals in the Environment:

  • measures of disease and risk;
  • measures of exposure and dose;
  • the brief review of epidemiological methods;
  • hazard identification of non-cancer end-points;
  • hazard identification carcinogens.

The second week

3. Lecture (2 hours)

Valuing Risks:

  • the dose-dependent model;
  • valuing statistical lives;
  • valuing future lives;
  • valuing mortality: the human capital approach;
  • cost of illness.

4. Lecture (2 hours)

Valuation of life and health risks: a case study:

  • the underlying model;
  • problems of the dose-dependent function.

5. Seminar(2 hours)

USEPA-recommended methodology: opportunity of a new sight on the statistical data on illness and mortality.

The third week

6. Lecture (2 hours)

The Psychology of risk and uncertainty:

  • the psychology of risk perception;
  • social and cultural influences on risk perception;
  • the significance of risk perception research for environmental risk management.

7. Practical work (2 hours)

Estimation of annual population cancer risk (on the data [3]).

8. Practical work (2 hours)

Evaluation of mortality impacts due to estimated PM10 Emission (on the data [3])


    1. Handbook of Environmental Risk Assessment and Management / Ed. By P. Calow. -Blackwell Science, 1998.
    2. Revitch B.A., Bycov A.A. Estimation of mortality risk of the population of Russia from man-caused pollution of air pool (article in russian) // Problems of prognostication. - 1998, - ?3. - 147-162.
    3. Assessing Chronic Health Risks from Stationary Source Air Emissions in Volgograd, Russia. The Volgograd Health Risk Assessment Working Group / Development Discussion Paper ? 601. Cambridge, 1997.

    1. Breyer S. Breaking the Vicious Circle. Towards Effective risk regulation / Harvard University Press, 1993.
    2. Bates D.V. Environmental Health Risks and Public Policy / University of Washington Press, 1994.

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