Risk Assessment vs Risk Management for Microplastics

Analyzing Microplastics in the Environment: Striving to Better Assess Occurrence, Fate and Effects
Oral Presentation

Prepared by A. Cook1, W. Robberson2, H. Allen3
1 - Ocean P3 Systems, 67 Prospect Rd, Piedmont, California, 94610, United States
2 - Ocean P3 Systems, 1230 Clay Street, APT 203, San Francisco, CA, 94108, United States
3 - US EPA Region 9, 619 Mound, South Pasadena, California, 91030, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 415 516-6400


Pursuing conventional and established approaches to risk assessment for the establishment of threats posed to human health and the environment from microplastics is premature at this time due to the significant lack of comparable and reliable exposure data. It may well be a decade or more before even preliminary risk assessments can be derived for this contaminant class, while continuing and increasing microplastic pollution occurs during this timeframe. This talk will examine the need for microplastics sampling, monitoring and analysis standards before exposure can be reliably estimated, and it will make the case for risk management as an immediately actionable and effective approach in lieu of continued pursuit of risk assessment endeavors.